GODMOTHER OF CAPE BRETON FICTION, and an essential figure in contemporary storytelling, Tessie Gillis has inspired Nova Scotia writers including Lynn Coady, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Alistair MacLeod, and Sheldon Currie. Her gripping stories dare to open the door to a realistic, sympathetic, and often dark portrait of rural Cape Breton life.
The Innocent and Other Stories is generous selection inspired by Sheldon Currie’s powerful and insightful opening essay— stories with exquisite focus on her vivid characters' hopes, fears, and failings. Gillis explores the pain and joy of the ties that bind, be they marital or community. No one before her wrote such stark or compassionate Cape Breton stories.
“Tessie Gillis’ stories are full of warmth, comedy and insight . . . . Her subtle humour is a constant pleasure that lightens the bleakness of the most tragic, cruel and hopeless moments.”—Sheldon Currie, author of The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum—the Novel
“Here we have a living, breathing, thinking woman who looked about her and recorded what she saw with caring and affection, and without flinching.”—Mary Anne Ducharme, author of Archie Neil: From the Life and Stories of Archie Neil Chisholm of Margaree Forks, Cape Breton