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Nature Essays

Of Earthly and River Things

An Angler's Memoir

by (author) Wayne Curtis

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Oct 2012
Essays, Fishing, Personal Memoirs
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price

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"One could do worse than to grow up on a river."

In his new collection of essays, Wayne Curtis voyages back through the tributaries of his past, throwing a pastoral net over the backwaters of his childhood to ensnare the sepia-tinged moments of love, loss, and life lessons he gleaned through his rise to maturity on the waterways of New Brunswick. As Proust recalled his past through the delicate taste of a madeleine, so, too, Curtis ruminates on growing up on the Miramichi, albeit through the more uniquely Canadian flavour of the home-cooked doughnut. Curtis writes of the simple pleasures of fishing with friends, of one's first unforgettable kiss, and of a father who teased his children that "all dreams that were told before breakfast had a better chance of becoming real."

Of Earthly and River Things is at once a nostalgic trek through history and elegy for a vanishing culture, a world where its people were grateful to the river for its bounty.

About the author

Wayne Curtis was born in Keenan, New Brunswick, in 1943. He was educated at the local schoolhouse and St. Thomas University where he majored in English. He has won the Richards Award for short fiction, The Lieutenant Governor's Award, and the CBC Drama Awards. Wayne's stories have appeared in literary journals: The Cormorant, The Fiddlehead, Pottersfield Portfolio, The Nashwaak Review, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, New Brunswick Reader, New Maritimes and the anthologies Atlantica, Country Roads, The STU Reader, Winter House, The Christmas Secret and Winter. His short stories have been dramatized on CBC radio and CBC television.

In the spring of 2005, Wayne Curtis received an Honorary Doctorate Degree (letters) from St. Thomas University. In 2014 he was awarded the Order of New Brunswick. In 2018 he received the Senate Sesquicentennial Medal from the Canadian Senate and in 2023 he received The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Award. Wayne has lived in southern Ontario, Yukon Territories and Cuba. He currently divides his time between his cabin on the Miramichi River and his apartment in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Our Christmas Guest is his twenty-second published book.

Wayne Curtis' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Set on the greatest river in the East, this memoir's bright run of prose dives deeply, rises, and leaps lyrically through these pages like the innocent days and magnificent fish it memorializes. It is a masterwork grounded in the love of earth and water, family and community, youth and age, dream and reality, by one of our finest writers, ‘the speaking soul of the river.’ "

Harry Thurston

"Wayne Curtis is one of our very best writers!"

David Adams Richards

"Poetic prose and microscopic detail combined with thoughtful reflection and vivid storytelling makes Of Earthly and River Things a celebration and hymn of praise. Curtis is a romantic in the best sense. He evokes a gentler past and offers us a refreshing immersion into a life lived deeply connected to the land, the cycles of nature, and currents of a river."

Sheree Fitch

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