In this stunning and original novel, John Steffler has recreated a lost time and place, and has given life to an enigmatic figure from Canada’s 18th-century past. Described quietly by historians as “soldier, diarist, entrepreneur,” George Cartwright emerges in Steffler’s tale as a character of overwhelming appetite and ambition. Until this time Cartwright’s greatest legacy has been the place in Labrador named after him and the journal he wrote during his years there, when he lived amongst Native people and ran a successful trading post. Now his legacy becomes our own: a telling portrait of our past; a warning.
John Steffler was born in Toronto and currently lives in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, where he teaches at Memorial University’s Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.
An acclaimed poet, his most recent books of poetry are The Grey Islands and The Wreckage of Play. The Afterlife of George Cartwright, published in Canada and the U.S., won the 1992 Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the 1993 Thomas Raddall Award, and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and for the 1993 Best First Book Commonwealth Prize.
John Steffler is currently at work on his next novel.