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Drama Canadian

Leaving Home, Of the Fields, Lately, and Salt-Water Moon

Three Mercer Plays

by (author) David French

foreword by Albert Schultz

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
May 2009
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2009
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2009
    List Price

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David French's award-winning plays Leaving Home, Of the Fields, Lately and Salt-Water Moon are available for the first time in a special one-volume edition, with an introduction by Albert Schultz.

Set in the 1950s, Leaving Home tells the story of the Mercers, a Newfoundland family who have emigrated to the mainland and lost all sense of their place in the world. In Of the Fields, Lately, the emotionally charged sequel to Leaving Home, young Ben Mercer returns home after being gone for two years and confronts the family he left behind. Salt-Water Moon was written later than the other two plays but tells the earlier story of the courtship of Jacob and Mary Mercer in Newfoundland.

Leaving Home was named one of the "100 Most Influential Canadian Books" by the Literary Review of Canada. Of the Fields, Lately won the Chalmers Award in 1973, and Salt-Water Moon won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Drama, the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play, and the Hollywood Drama-Logue Critics’ Award.

About the authors

David French
Born in Coley’s Point, Newfoundland, David French was one of Canada’s best-known and most critically acclaimed playwrights. His work received many major awards, and French was one of the first inductees into the Newfoundland Arts Hall of Honour.

Among his best-loved works are the semi-autobiographical Mercer plays: Salt-Water Moon, 1949, Leaving Home, recently named one of Canada’s 100 Most Influential Books (Literary Review of Canada) and one of the 1,000 Most Essential Plays in the English Language (Oxford Dictionary of Theatre), Of the Fields, Lately and Soldier’s Heart. The Mercer plays have received hundreds of productions across North America, including a Broadway production of Of the Fields, Lately. This quintet of plays about a Newfoundland family has also touched audiences in Europe, South America and Australia. In addition, French produced skillful adaptations of Alexander Ostrovsky’s The Forest, Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and August Strindberg’s Miss Julie.

David French's profile page

Albert Schultz is Founding Artistic Director of the Soulpepper Theatre Company in Toronto.

Albert Schultz's profile page

Editorial Reviews

[A] solidly fashioned, powerful emotional drama...All of its characters have the quality of theatrical life...All prove worthy of our attention, understanding, and laughter.

Globe and Mail

Splendidly played...Immensely moving.

Washington Post

An agonizingly beautiful work.

New York Post

A play of remarkable dynamic life...The lacerating quality of inner-family warfare carries both superb comedy and powerful emotional force...An overwhelming dramatic experience.

Toronto Star

Other titles by David French