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Fiction Coming Of Age

Our December Guest

Maritime Christmas Stories

by (author) Wayne Curtis

Pottersfield Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2024
Coming of Age, NON-CLASSIFIABLE, Central America, Family Life, Short Stories (single author)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2024
    List Price

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In Our December Guest, Wayne Curtis once again draws on his own experiences to craft nineteen stories of autumn and winter life in rural New Brunswick in an age gone by. Authentic and true in every detail, his characters combine the strength and resilience required to eke out a living from the woods and the rivers as well as a sensitivity to the beauty of nature and an appreciation of the arts. Lacking town culture, Curtis's men and women make their own entertainment after a long day's work. The music they render may not be polished, but it is heartfelt, as is every aspect of their activities, either of work or play. Their lives are hard, and the parents and grandparents in these stories have often lived their entire lives in one place, working past the age when those in urban centres would have retired. Yet despite the bone-wearying efforts they must make every day to keep their farms running, Curtis's characters have a deep appreciation for both the bounty their natural world provides and the harshness it visits upon them.

In his elegant and precise prose, Curtis moves and entertains readers with stories about a variety of memorable characters: a boy who orders a coveted belt buckle from a mail-order catalogue, only to be disappointed with the results of this accessory; a young woman who, having had to do woods work to help her family, is given both advice and practical help by an elderly aunt after a family sleigh ride; a young boy who goes on his first visit to the woods with his ageing grandfather; a man who hungers for the love of a certain woman, only to be faced with her indifference; a family visited by a tramp who bestows upon the boy a special gift from Santa. In each of these tales, Wayne Curtis captures a way of life that he both lived and remembers, and each story shimmers with both his love of that life and his understanding of the emotions it evokes.

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

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