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The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

Johnston, Wayne (Book - 1999 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams


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Random House, Inc.
"The Colony of Unrequited Dreams" is Newfoundland--that vast, haunting near-continent upon which the two lovers and adversaries of this miraculously inventive novel pursue their ambitions.

Joey Smallwood, sprung from almost Dickensian privation, is a scholarship boy at a private school, where his ready wit bests the formidably tart-tongued Sheilagh Fielding. Their dual fates become forever linked by an anonymous letter to a local paper critical of the school--a letter whose mysterious authorship will weigh heavily on their lives.

Driven by socialist dreams and political desire, Smallwood will walk a railroad line the breadth of Newfoundland in a journey of astonishing power and beauty, to unionize the workers--and make his name. Fielding, now a popular newspaper columnist, provides--in her journalism, her diaries, and her bleakly hilarious "Condensed History of Newfoundland"--a satirical and eloquent counternarrative to Smallwood's story.

As the decades pass and Smallwood's rise converges with Newfoundland's emerging autonomy, these two vexed characters must confront their own frailties and secrets--and their mutual (if doomed) love.

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams combines erudition, unflagging narrative brio, and emotional depth in a manner reminiscent of the best of Robertson Davies and John Irving. Set in a landscape already made familiar to American readers by Annie Proulx and Howard Norman, it establishes Wayne Johnston as a novelist who is as profound as he is funny, with an unerringly ironic sense of the intersection where private lives and history collide.

Baker & Taylor
Joe Smallwood, an impoverished boy intent on making a name for himself, and Sheilagh Fielding, a journalist who pens his rise to power, confront their own frailties, secrets, and mutual love, in a novel of twentieth-century Newfoundland

Blackwell North Amer
"The Colony of Unrequited Dreams" is Newfoundland - that vast, haunting near-continent upon which the two lovers and adversaries of this novel pursue their ambitions. Joey Smallwood, sprung from almost Dickensian privation, is a scholarship boy at a private school, where his ready wit bests the formidably tart-tongued Sheilagh Fielding. Their dual fates become forever linked by an anonymous letter to a local paper critical of the school - a letter whose mysterious authorship will weigh heavily on their lives. Driven by socialist dreams and political desire, Smallwood will walk a railroad line the breadth of Newfoundland in a journey of astonishing power and beauty, to unionize the workers - and make his name. Fielding, now a popular newspaper columnist, provides - in her journalism, her diaries, and her bleakly hilarious "Condensed History of Newfoundland" - a satirical and eloquent counternarrative to Smallwood's story. As the decades pass and Smallwood's rise converges with Newfoundland's emerging autonomy, these two vexed characters must confront their own frailties and secrets - and their mutual (if doomed) love.

Baker
& Taylor

Joey Smallwood, a privileged boy intent on making a name for himself, and Shelagh Fielding, a journalist who pens his rise to power, confront their own frailties, secrets, and mutual love, in an immensely rich and utterly involving novel of twentieth-century Newfoundland. Tour.

Authors: Johnston, Wayne
Statement of Responsibility: Wayne Johnston
Title: The colony of unrequited dreams
Publisher: New York :, Anchor Books,, 1999, c1998
Characteristics: 562 p. ; 25 cm.
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Report This Jan 27, 2013
  • Carmine1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great piece of Canadiana writing.

Report This Feb 03, 2012
  • carmenweiss rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

Gave up pretty early on this one.

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Report This Jul 16, 2012
  • spiderfelt rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

To leave or not to leave, and having left, to stay away or to go back home. I knew of Newfoundlanders who had gone to their graves without having settled the question, some who never left but were forever planning to and some who went away for good but were forever on the verge of going home. Page 144

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