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Fiction Literary

The Artificial Newfoundlander

a novel

by (author) Larry Mathews

Breakwater Books Ltd.
Initial publish date
Mar 2010
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2010
    List Price

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The Artificial Newfoundlander is a witty, playful, tale of contemporary St. John’s. Hugh Norman, a middle-aged English prof researching an eccentric novelist priest, is faced with the unexpected arrivals of his mysteriously unhappy daughter, her clueless husband, and an old flame ready for rekindling. Relationships morph, lines are crossed, and Hugh confronts some unpalatable but laugh-inducing dilemmas.

About the author

Larry Mathews teaches in the English department at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His short fiction has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, and in his collection of stories The Sandblasting Hall of Fame (2003). The Artificial Newfoundlander is his first novel. He lives in St. John’s with the writer Claire Wilkshire and their children, Timothy and Sally.

Larry Mathews' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This is all set in a blazingly contemporary St. John's, a city of films and cafes, art projects and bars, afternoon runs around Quidi Vidi lake and late nights walking uphill from Duckworth Street pubs... Mathews is the genuine article." -Joan Sullivan, The Telegram

"From the tongue-in-cheek first line onward, Larry Mathews had me hooked. The Artificial Newfoundlander is a genuinely funny, thoroughly engaging story told with wit, lyricism, and a raucous narrative drive." -Samuel Thomas Martin, Dark Art Cafe (

"Mathews' sense of the absurdity of academic life is close on hilarious, and his take on the sometimes overblown St. John's art scene even funnier." -Jean Graham, The Northeast Avalon Times

“A wry, funny, insightful, clever book.” -Wayne Johnston

“Larry Mathews is a searing and silver tongued wit. He writes with tuned precision and care, but he is offbeat and great fun to read. His juicy Newfoundland novel is a mystery of sorts, but there is another mystery hidden in its pages, whether a book can be barbed and satirical and yet lovingly lyrical at the same time. Is this feat possible? Mathews pulls it off with aplomb and I'm a fan.” - Mark Anthony Jarman, author of My White Planet and Ireland’s Eye

"Mathews' first novel provides an interesting and, at times, humorous account of the relationships of Professor Hugh Norman and his life in contemporary Newfoundland." -Clare O'Connor, Atlantic Books Today

"The novel engages with the deeper topics of place, family, and literature. It prompts us to consider not where a person is from in determining who they are, but how he relates to the important people in his life, and how he makes a place his home."

Jennifer Bowering Delisle, Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, Fall 2010

"If you are a lover of Lisa More and a maniac for Michael Winter, like me, then The Artificial Newfoundlander is a treasure the likes of the Rosetta Stone. It's a zany and rowdy look at both our East Cost openness and the over-analytical English studies, all delivered with Richler-like cleverness." -Mike Landry, Telegraph-Journal

Other titles by Larry Mathews