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Fiction Anthologies (multiple Authors)

Running the Whale's Back

Stories of Faith and Doubt from Atlantic Canada

edited by Andrew Atkinson

by (author) Carol Bruneau & Alistair MacLeod

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Oct 2013
Anthologies (multiple authors), Religious, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
    List Price

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In a collection as fine in scope as it is intimate in detail, Running the Whale's Back presents a host of Eastern Canada's brightest literary talents, all putting pens to paper to explore the multiple facets of what we call "faith" through a unique Atlantic vantage point.

In a satisfying mixture of styles and themes, the full breadth of Atlantic Canadian spirituality is revealed. These are pieces that poke and prod, ruminate and circulate with themes of religion and cultures of spirituality. Mysticism meets piety, holiness argues with practicality, and hope lives side by side with despair as the stories spiral and waltz themselves across the four provinces.

As the authors leap from subject to subject, we discover death lurking in the lonely wilderness, ski jumpers participating in miracles, and preachers suffering marital discord. Featured authors are Michael Crummey, Sheldon Currie, Joan Clark, David Adams Richards, Kenneth J. Harvey, Clive Doucet, Deborah Joy Corey, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Michael Hennessey, Lynn Coady, D.R. MacDonald, Jessica Grant, Michael Winter, Samuel Thomas Martin, Michelle Butler Hallett, Kathleen Winter, and Ann Copeland.

About the authors

Andrew Atkinson is a part-time faculty member in the Department of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University who has published on Wayne Johnston, Flannery O'Connor, and Linden MacIntyre.

Andrew Atkinson's profile page

Carol Bruneau's most recent title from Cormorant Books is Glass Voices. She is also the author of Berth. Her novel Purple For Sky (Cormorant, 2000) won the City of Dartmouth Fiction Prize and the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize. She is also the author of two collections of short stories, Depth Rapture and After the Angel Mill, both published by Cormorant Books. She has taught creative writing in the continuing education departments of Mount St.Vincent University and Nova Scotia Community College; she is now on faculty of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, where she teaches writing. Carol lives in Halifax with her husband and three sons.

Carol Bruneau's profile page

Alistair MacLeod was born in Saskatchewan in 1936 and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He has published two internationally acclaimed collections of short stories: The Lost Salt Gift of Blood (1976) and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun (1986). In 2000, these two books, accompanied by two new stories, were published as Island: The Collected Stories of Alistair MacLeod. In 1999, MacLeod's first novel, No Great Mischief, was published to stellar critical acclaim. The novel won the Dartmouth Book Award, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, The Trillium Award, the CAA Award, and the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards for Fiction Book of the Year and Author of the Year. In 2001, No Great Mischief was awarded the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, one of the world's most prestigious literary prizes.

Alistair MacLeod's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Serves to highlight this perpetual return to contemporary issues of faith: whether that faith be religious, economic, sexual or familial. ... These are stories that should be contemplated slowly and treated as individual meditations."

<i>Atlantic Books Today</i>

"A great read from cover to cover."

<i>Quill & Quire</i>

"While their origins are grounded and specific, the spiritual musings themselves are diffuse. ... the book's success — and it is a great read from cover to cover — comes down to the high quality of the stories themselves."

<i>Quill & Quire</i>

"T;rancendence seems to be the word that applies to this collection. ... Running the Whale's Back, through its themes of death and love that lock arms with belief and doubt, shows that age-old ideas are the best ones humans ever had, do have, will have, forever and ever. The ideas seem so good and lasting because they are articulated through the transcendent aesthetics of language, of story."

<i>Winnipeg Review</i>

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