In her new novel, What They Wanted, awardwinning author Donna Morrissey explores both new and familiar terrain: the wild shores of a Newfoundland outport and the equally wild environment of an Alberta oil rig. After Sylvanus Now suffers a heart attack, family tensions come to the fore: daughter Sylvie must deal with her feelings of estrangement from her mother, Addie, while her brother Chris, a natural artist, frustrates his dreams by going to work on an oil rig. A novel about uilt,responsibility, tragedy, and the enduring ties of family, this is vintage Donna Morrissey.
About the author
Donna Morrissey was born in The Beaches, a small village on the northwest coast of Newfoundland that had neither roads nor electricity until the 1960s a place not unlike Haire’s Hollow, which she depicts in Kit’s Law. When she was sixteen, Morrissey left The Beaches and struck out across Canada, working odd jobs from bartending to cooking in oil rig camps to processing fish in fish plants. She went on to earn a degree in social work at Memorial University in St. Johns. It was not until she was in her late thirties that Morrissey began writing short stories, at the urging of a friend, a Jungian analyst, who insisted she was a writer. Eventually she adapted her first two stories into screenplays, which both went on to win the Atlantic Film Festival Award; one aired recently on CBC. Kit’s Law is Morrissey’s first novel, the winner of the Canadian Booksellers Association First-Time Author of the Year Award and shortlisted for many prizes, including the Atlantic Fiction Award and the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Morrissey lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“Donna Morrissey is an absolute terrific original.” –David Adams Richards
“Irresistible… Masterful… The rich, rocky terrain of Newfoundland has borne a native storyteller with talent to burn in Donna Morrissey.” –Dublin Sunday Tribune
“Donna Morrissey is a wonderfully gifted writer. The setting of her books is Newfoundland, but their appeal is universal. She unashamedly cares for her characters and sees them as real people with real lives worth caring and reading about. To read one of her books is to wind up laughing or crying or somehow doing both at once.” –Wayne Johnston
“Everything is hyper-vivid in Morrissey’s world, not excluding emotions, dreams and unresolved conflicts… Morrissey reveals the beauty and the terror of two economic realities, worlds apart from us and from each other.” –Toronto Star
Other titles by Donna Morrissey
A memoir of a Newfoundland childhood and the raucous, terrible, amazing journey to becoming a novelist