For twelve generations the inhabitants of a remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement, and each has been offered a generous compensation package to leave. But the money is offered with a proviso: everyone has to go.
But Moses Sweetland chooses to stay alone. Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, haunted by memories of the short and lonely time he spent away from his home as a younger man, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses refuses to leave. But in the face of determined, sometimes violent, opposition from his family and his friends, Sweetland is eventually swayed to sign on to the government's plan. Then a tragic accident prompts him to fake his own death and stay on the deserted island. As he manages a desperately diminishing food supply, and battles against the ravages of weather, Sweetland finds himself in the company of the vibrant ghosts of the former islanders, whose porch lights still seem to turn on at night.
About the author
Michael Crummey is the author of four books of poetry, and a book of short stories, Flesh and Blood. His first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, his second, The Wreckage, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His most recent novel, the bestselling Galore, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. Under the Keel is his first collection in a decade. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
- Winner, Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards
- Nominated, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
- Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards - Fiction
• Seductive, supple and haunting . . . Sweetland is a wistful eulogy for a dying way of life." --Toronto Star
Other titles by Michael Crummey
Most of What Follows is True
Places Imagined and Real
Ten Canadian Writers in Context
New and Selected Poems
Brick Books Classics 5
David Blackwood: Prints of Newfoundland
Under the Keel special hardcover edition