Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Download a Dead Author for Hallowe'en!

Hallowe'en Treat from rattlingbooks.com
(a little something we dug up just for you ....)
Dead Author Download Special!
Half Rotten Half Price / October 30 & 31
Captain Bob BartlettThe Last Voyage of the Karluk
Regular Download Price: $19.95
Hallowe'en Price: $9.95

Wilfred Grenfell
Adrift on an Ice Pan
Regular Download Price: $9.95
Hallowe'en Price: $4.95

Dillon Wallace
The Lure of the Labrador Wild
Regular Download Price: $19.95
Hallowe'en Price: $9.95

Monday, October 29, 2007

Word of the Week for REDEFiNE iT: drung

drung n also drang, drong
Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English
drung n also drang, drong EDD drang sb 1 s w cties . . .'same word as OE [thrang], a throng, crowd.' A narrow lane or passage between houses, fenced gardens, etc. [c1830] 1890 GOSSE 41 This 'drong,' or lane, was reputed to be haunted. 1858 [LOWELL] i, 176 The constable passed the drung that led up to his forge and dwelling, and keeping on ... knocked at the door. 1895 J A Folklore viii, 28 ~ a narrow lane. [1929] 1949 ENGLISH 115 A rocky lane may still be called a 'drong' and a canyon is a 'drook.' 1937 DEVINE 19 Drang. A narrow path or lane. 1965 PARSONS 53 "The Rote": the meadow (where the land was dry) / 'Bout where they'd lodged the foremast that had sprung / Hardby 'poor Martin's,' off the Balsam drung. 1972 MURRAY 29 There are 'drungs' (lanes) and roads shooting off in all directions from the main artery.
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Or alternatively, post your comment here.
N.B. Any Word of the Week recieving more than 10 redefinition posts will trigger a prize from Rattling Books for our favourite.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Short Fiction Singles now available from rattlingbooks.com

New Option from rattlingbooks.com

Short fiction Singles as Digital Downloads only

LisaMoore MavisGallant JanisSpence JoelThomasHynes SusanRendell

with new titles coming soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Word of the Week for REDEFiNE iT: boo

Word of the Week (October 22, 2007):


Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English

boo n also bo OED bo [interjection]; bogy 1 'the devil'; EDD ~ sb1 'a louse'; cp OED bull-beggar ['bull-bear; bogy'] (1584-1851); NID boogeyman, and variants 'an evil spirit'; J WIDDOWSON, Folklore lxxxii (Summer, 1971), 99-115; for sense 4, cp Kilkenny Lexicon boo-man 'bogey-man.' See also BULLY2 : BULLY-BOO. 1 Imaginary figure used to terrify children into good behaviour. 1972 WIDDOWSON 74 I'm going to tell the big boo to come and carry you away if you don't stop it. Ibid 278 Bo: this was a man who lives underneath the house. Ibid 279 A small child will not go into a dark room once someone has said: 'There are boos in there.' 2 A louse. T 361/2-67 Be careful not to sit by somebody, because she has boos in her head. P 108-70 A boo was a louse and a nit was the egg. C 71-94 It was very easy to pick up head lice (boos). 3 Nasal mucus. P 245--64 Boos—dried mucus in nose. 4 Comb boo-bagger: see senses 1, 2, 3 above. T 353-67 She would say, 'you got boo-baggers in your nose.' T 360-67 Got boo-beggers in your head! M 68-24 Boo-bagger is the name given to a supposedly evil person who chased and harmed bad little boys and girls. C 71-122 [She] used to tell us that we looked like boo-baggers when we were dressed untidily or in dirty clothes. 1973 WIDDOWSON 286 To frighten children in the dark a parent might say, 'Watch out! The Boo-Baggers are in there.' 1975 GUY 158 Good luck to bad rubbish. Devil's own boo-bagger. Hope he spends the next fifty years passing through Liberal kidneys. boo-darby: see sense 1 above; cp DARBY. C 67-5 If you go out tonight the Boo-darby will carry you away. 1972 WIDDOWSON 84 Don't go down there! The boo-darbies are down there! boo-man: the devil; see also senses 1, 3 above. 1887 Colonist Christmas No 16 No doubt, mothers sent their children to sleep by threatening to give them to the old man of St Shotts; a Booman of local growth raises the moral and social status of a district, and it is pleasant for the resident ladies to feel independent of Japanese bogies and Teutonic jotuns for the uses and purposes of child-scaring. 1903 Daily News 9 Sep "His Moustache": The prophet, George Gushue, man, / Oh, 'tis now he cuts a dash, / By dad he's like a 'boo man,'/ Since he cut off his moustache. 1969 Christmas Mumming in Nfld 72 The Boo Man (or the Boo, a euphemism for the Devil) takes children 'down to his fire' if they misbehave or lie. P 148-76 ~ dried mucus in the nose. boo-man's hat: toadstool; FAIRY CAP (P 80-64).

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N.B. Any Word of the Week recieving more than 10 redefinition posts will trigger a prize from Rattling Books for our favourite.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yesterday's Globe on House of Anansi's 40th Birthday

'The big guys keep being surprised by us'

The House of Anansi began in a rented basement, but 40 years on, it's ready to hit the big leagues, James Adams writes
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
October 20, 2007 at 9:40 AM EDT
(In the photo: House of Anansi President Sarah MacLachlan, chairman Scott Griffin and publisher Lynn Henry. (Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail))

TORONTO — The house that first housed the House of Anansi is still standing near the University of Toronto on Spadina Avenue, its facade with the impressive Beaux Arts and Second Empire flourishes now squished between Daddyo's Pasta & Salads and the Wing Ho Funeral Home.

There's a heritage plaque by the front door, but it doesn't identify 671 Spadina and its dank basement as the rented quarters where, in the fall of 1967, two nationalistic university English graduates in their late 20s named Dennis Lee and Dave Godfrey started what would become one of the three most influential presses in the literary history of Canada, along with McClelland & Stewart and Coach House Press.

Hundreds of books later by the likes of Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje, the press that Jack McClelland predicted would last no more than 18 months still lives on Spadina Avenue. But it won't be celebrating its 40th birthday in a basement. Anansi's home is now a light-filled eighth-floor aerie of blond hardwood and high ceilings far to the south of its original digs.

The environment says it all about the brightened outlook at Anansi. One British publisher recently called it "the red-hot centre of literary publishing in Canada." Owned since 2002 by Toronto businessman and poetry enthusiast Scott Griffin, the company last year reported sales of just under $5-million and now employs a full-time staff of 20. It wasn't so long ago, when Anansi was still part of the now-defunct Stoddart empire, that there were three staffers and annual sales hovered around $400,000.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Booksellers Association (CBA) named Anansi its publisher of the year after its 2006 triumphs, which included: an Anansi title, Peter Behrens's debut novel The Law of Dreams, winning the 2006 Governor-General's Literary Award for English fiction (with Rawi Hage's De Niro's Game also short-listed) and two books on the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize short list (De Niro's Game and Gaétan Soucy's The Immaculate Conception). Meanwhile, the company's publisher since 2005, Lynn Henry, took the CBA's "editor-of-the-year" honours.

This week, Lee, now 68, learned his most recent volume of Anansi-published poetry, Yesno: Poems, was on the short list for the 2007 Governor-General's poetry prize.
To read the rest of this article click here.
Rattling Books would like to thank Anansi for taking us under their wing (Rattling Books are distributed in Canada through House of Anansi Press). We wish them health, wealth and happiness for atleast forty more!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lure of the Labrador Wild, excerpt #8

The following excerpt is from Lure of the Labrador Wild by Dillon Wallace. Wallace's account of the failed canoe expedition through the Labrador wilderness that resulted in the death of journalist Leonidas Hubbard was first published in 1905 by Fleming H. Revell, New York. The unabridged audio edition is narrated by Jody Richardson and is available from Rattling Books.

We were up betimes the next morning after a fair night's sleep on the floor. We again served hardtack and coffee to all, and at five o'clock were once more on our way. A thick mantle of mist obscured the shore, and Hubbard offered Steve a chart and compass. "Ain't got no learnin', sir; I can't read, sir," said the young livyere. So Hubbard directed the course in the mist while Steve steered. Later in the day the wind freshened and blew the mist away, and at length developed into a gale. Finally the sea rose so high that Steve thought it well to seek the protection of a harbour, and we landed in a sheltered cove on one of the numerous islands that strew Hamilton Inlet, where we then were--Big Black Island, it is called.

George had arisen that morning with a lame back, and when we reached the island he could scarcely move. The place was so barren of timber we could not find a stick long enough to act as a centre pole for our tent, and it was useless to try to pitch it. However, the moss, being thick and soft, made a comfortable bed, and after we had put a mustard plaster on George's back to relieve his lumbago, we rolled him in two of our blankets under the lee of a bush and let him sleep. Then, as evening came on, Hubbard and I started for a stroll along the shore. The sun was still high in the heavens, and the temperature mildly cool.

A walk of a mile or so brought us to the cabin of one Joe Lloyd, a livyere. Lloyd proved to be an intelligent old Englishman who had gone to Labrador as a sailor lad on a fishing schooner to serve a three-years' apprenticeship. He did not go home with his ship, and year after year postponed his return, until at last he married an Eskimo and bound himself fast to the cold rocks of Labrador, where he will spend the remainder of his life, eking out a miserable existence, a lonely exile from his native England.

After he had greeted us, Lloyd asked: "Is all the world at peace, sir?" He had heard of the Boer war, and was pleased when we told him that it had ended in a victory for the British arms. His
hunger for news touched us deeply, and we told him all that we could recall of recent affairs of public interest. I have said that his hunger for news touched us. As a matter of fact, few things have impressed me as being more pathetic than that old man's life up there on that isolated and desolate island, where he spends most of his time wistfully longing to hear something of the great world, and painfully recalling the pleasant memories of his childhood's home and friends, and the green fields and spring blossoms he never will know again. And Lloyd's story is the story of perhaps the majority of the settlers on The Labrador.

The old man had a fresh-caught salmon, and we bought it from him. We then sat for a few minutes in his cabin. This was a miserable affair, not exceeding eight by ten feet, and, like Steve's home, so low we could not stand erect in it. The floor was paved with large, flat stones, and the only vent for the smoke from the wretched fireplace was a hole in the roof. Midway between the fire and the hole hung a trout drying. In this room Lloyd and his Eskimo wife live out their life. During our visit the wife sat there without uttering a word. Her silence was characteristic; for, somewhat unlike our women, the women of Labrador talk but little.

When we had bidden Lloyd farewell, we carried the salmon we had obtained from him back to camp, where Hubbard tried to plank it on a bit of wreckage picked up on the shore. It fell into the fire, and there was great excitement until, by our united efforts, we had rescued it, and had seen part of it safely reposing in the frying pan, while Steve set to work boiling the remainder in our kettle with slices of bacon. As the gale continued to blow, it was decided that we should remain in camp until early morning. Hubbard directed Steve to pull the boat around to a place where it would be near the water at low tide. He and I then threw down the tent, lay on it, pulled a blanket over us and prepared for sleep. It was about eleven o'clock, and darkness was just beginning to fall. Out in the bay a whale was blowing, and in the distance big gulls were
screaming. It was our first night out in the open in Labrador, and all was new and entrancing; and as slumber gradually enwrapped us, it seemed to us that we had fallen upon pleasant times.

At one o'clock (Friday morning) we awoke. By the light of the brilliant moon we made coffee, called George and Steve and ate our breakfast of cold salmon and hardtack. George's lumbago was very bad, and he was unable to do any work. The rest of us portaged the outfit two hundred yards to the boat, which, owing to Steve's miscalculations as to the tide, we found high and dry on the rocks. Working in the shallow water, with a cloud of mosquitoes around our heads, it took us until 4.30 o'clock to launch her, by which time daylight long since had returned.

Once more afloat, we found that the wind had entirely died away, and Steve's sculling pushed the boat along but slowly. Grampuses raised their big backs everywhere, and seals, upon which they prey, were numerous. The water was alive with schools of caplin. At eleven o'clock we made Pompey Island, a mossy island of Laurentian rock about thirty-five miles from Indian Harbour. Here we stopped for luncheon, and after much looking around, succeeded in finding enough sticks to build a little fire. I made flapjacks, and Hubbard melted sugar for syrup.

While we were eating, I discovered in the far distance the smoke of a steamer. We supposed it to be the Julia Sheridan. Rushing our things into the boat, we put off as quickly as possible to intercept her. We fired three or four shots from our rifle, but got only a salute in recognition. Then Hubbard and I scramble into the canoe, which we had in tow, and began to paddle with might and main to head her off. As we neared her, we fired again. At that she came about--it was the Virginia Lake. They took us on board, bag, baggage, and canoe, and Steve was dismissed.

To be continued.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Michael Winter in The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories

The Biz: Deals and Moves in Canadian Arts
from The Globe & Mail
October 15, 2007

Alice Munro
(above) will make a rare public appearance this evening at the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, Ont., in support of the launch of The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories, in which her work, The View from Castle Rock, appears as the first story. The anthology's editor, novelist Jane Urquhart, will also be present, along with author Michael Winter.


The Big Why, Michael Winter's dazzling reinvention of the historical novel and witty faux memoir of the American artist Rockwell Kent, is being published in an unabridged audio edition by Rattling Books.

Click here to listen to a clip from The Big Why.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Word of the Week for REDEFiNE iT: pishogue

New Word of the Week (October 15, 2007):


Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English
pishogue n, usu pl also pisherogue, fizoge*, etc. [phonetics unavailable]. EDD ~ Ir; JOYCE 302; DINNEEN piseog 'witchcraft, sorcery,' pl, 'superstitious acts.' Incredible story, foolish talk; complaint. 1931 BYRNES 121 How many years have passed my friends, since you heard these once familiar localisms?. . . 'Sure it's all pisherogues.' 1937 DEVINE 37 ~s Superstitions. Gossipy yarns and incredible stories. 1968 DILLON 138 Fishogues, pisharogues—superstitions about ghosts, fairies, etc, matters a person complains about. 'Them are only some of your old fishogues.'

Now, we invite u to REDEFiNE iT!

Either by visiting the special REDEFiNE iT facebook group
or in a comment to this post

N.B. Any Word of the Week recieving more than 10 redefinition posts will trigger a prize from Rattling Books for our favourite.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Newfoundland swallow Pamela Morgan honoured by Memorial University

"For her contribution to the development of traditional music" in Newfoundland and Labrador, singer/songwriter and former lead singer with the much loved Figgy Duff band, Pamela Morgan was recently awarded (October 12, 2007) an honorary doctor of letters by Memorial University of Newfoundland.

There are few Newfoundlanders who listen to music who have not been haunted by the voice of Pamela Morgan. Figgy Duff was Canada's Fairport Convention. Pamela Morgan our Sandy Denny. I remember being in grade eleven and moving to town and hearing Figgy Duff do Jim Jones the Fisher who Died in his Bed and life was never the same again.

Check it out. They recorded it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chasing boYs with Kathleen Winter: various locations

Kathleen Winter reading from boYs in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal in the next few days.

Kathleen Winter and Leon Rooke will be reading tonight (Friday October 12) at TYPE books, 883 Queen St. W., at 7 pm (in Toronto). Refreshments served.

Kathleen Winter, Leon Rooke and John Metcalf will be reading on Sunday (October 14) as part of the Ottawa International Writer's festival.

Kathleen Winter will be doing a Drive-by reading Monday (October 15) at the Concordia Co-op Bookstore in Montreal (2150 Bishop) at 3 pm.

The Apostrophic Michael Winter

from Chronicles of a Doctoral Diva

The Mystery Behind the Apostrophe
Michael Winter is a funny man. He had hilarious anecdotes to share and was full of energy. But beneath all that performance pizzazz, lingers a sharp mind.

His response to the question about his lack of apostrophes: it quickens the pace, gives the text more of a memoir style, it bridges gaps. “Don’t you find,” he said, “that an apostrophe is like a marker screaming: Dear Reader, we used to have two words, but we dropped some letters and replaced them with a squiggly sign – now, please read on.” He made a list of all the words with apostrophes that did not lose meaning with the removal of the squiggle – and removed it. Of course, this was a nightmare for the copyeditor, who got tons of letters and complaints. Thus at the back of the new novel, The Architects Are Here, there is a little blurb warning the reader NOT to write to the copyeditor about the poor punctuation.

To read the rest of this blog post, please click here.


The Big Why, Michael Winter's dazzling reinvention of the historical novel and witty faux memoir of the American artist Rockwell Kent, is being published in an unabridged audio edition by Rattling Books.

Click here to listen to a clip from The Big Why.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Recitation Night at the Crow's Nest

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 at 7:30 p.m.
THE CROW’S NEST OFFICERS' CLUB, off Duckworth Street, east of the War Memorial, St. John's, Newfoundland

Listeners are welcome! Or come with a poem, a rhyme, a recitation, a song, anything in verse, no matter how short or how long.

$2 at the door


To get in the mood, click here to listen to Agnes Walsh reading poems from In the Old Country of My Heart, an audio book from Rattling Books.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lure of the Labrador Wild, excerpt #7

The following excerpt is from Lure of the Labrador Wild by Dillon Wallace. Wallace's account of the failed canoe expedition through the Labrador wilderness that resulted in the death of journalist Leonidas Hubbard was first published in 1905 by Fleming H. Revell, New York. The unabridged audio edition is narrated by Jody Richardson and is available from Rattling Books.

Our first afternoon on Labrador soil we spent in assorting and packing our outfit, while the Newfoundlanders and livyeres stood around and admired our things, particularly the canoe, guns, and sheath-knives. Their curiosity was insatiable; they inquired the cost of every conceivable thing.

The next afternoon (Wednesday) Dr. Simpson arrived on his steamer, and, to our great disappointment, we learned that the Julia would not start on the trip down the inlet until after the return of the Virginia Lake from the north, which would probably be on Friday or Saturday. The Labrador summer being woefully short, Hubbard felt that every hour was precious, and he chafed under our enforced detention. We were necessarily going into the interior wholly unprepared for winter travel, and hence must complete our work and make our way out of the wilderness before the rivers and lakes froze and canoe travel became impossible. Hubbard felt the responsibility he had assumed, and could imagine the difficulties that awaited us should his plans miscarry. Accordingly, he began to look around immediately among the fishermen and livyeres for someone with a small boat willing to take us down the fifty miles to Rigolet. Finally, after much persuasion and an offer of fifteen dollars, he induced a young livyere, Steve Newell by name, to undertake the task.

Steve was a characteristic livyere, shiftless and ambitionless. He lived a few miles down the inlet with his widowed mother and his younger brothers and sisters. For a week he would work hard and conscientiously to support the family, and then take a month's rest. We had happened upon him in one of his resting periods, but as soon as Hubbard had pinned him down to an agreement he put in an immediate plea for money.

"I'se huntin' grub, sir," he begged. "I has t' hunt grub all th' time, sir. Could 'un spare a dollar t' buy grub, sir?"

Hubbard gave him the dollar, and he forthwith proceeded to the trader's hut to purchase flour and molasses, which, with fat salt pork, are the great staples of the Labrador natives, although the coast livyeres seldom can afford the latter dainty. While we were preparing to start, Hubbard asked Steve what he generally did for a living.

"I hunts in winter an' fishes in summer, sir," was the reply.

"What do you hunt?

"Fur an' partridges, sir. I trades the fur for flour and molasses, sir, an' us eats th' partridges."

"What kind of fur do you find here?"

"Foxes is about all, sir, an' them's scarce; only a chance one, sir."

"Do you catch enough fur to keep you in flour and molasses?"

"Not always, sir. Sometimes us has only partridges t' eat, sir."

We started at five o'clock in the evening in Steve's boat, the Mayflower, a leaky little craft that kept one man pretty busy bailing out the water. She carried one ragged sail, and Steve sculled and steered with a rough oar about eighteen feet long. An hour after we got under way a blanket of grey fog, thick and damp, enveloped us; but so long are the Labrador summer days that there still was light to guide us when at eleven o'clock Steve said:

"Us better land yere, sir. I lives yere, an' 'tis a good spot t' stop for th' night, sir."

I wondered what sort of an establishment Steve maintained, and drawing an inference from his personal appearance, I had misgivings as to its cleanliness. However, anything seemed better than chilling fog, and land we did--in a shallow cove where we bumped over a partly submerged rock and manoeuvred with difficulty among others, that raised their heads ominously above the water. As we approached, we made out through the fog the dim outlines, close to the shore, of a hut partially covered with sod. Our welcome was tumultuous--a combination of the barking of dogs and the shrill screams of women demanding to know who we were and what we wanted. There were two women, tall, scrawny, brown, with hair flying at random. The younger one had a baby in her arms. She was Steve's married sister. The other woman was his mother. Each was loosely clad in a dirty calico gown. Behind them clustered a group of dirty, half-clad children.

Steve ushered us into the hut, which proved to have two rooms, the larger about eight by ten feet. The roof was so low that none of us could stand erect except in the centre, where it came to a peak. In the outer room were two rough wooden benches, and on a rickety table a dirty kerosene lamp without a chimney shed gloom rather than light. An old stove, the sides of which were bolstered up with rocks, filled the hut with smoke to the point of suffocation when a fire was started. The floor and everything else in the room were innocent of soap and water.

George made coffee, which he passed around with hardtack to everybody. Then all but Steve and our party retired to the inner room, one of the women standing a loose door against the aperture. Steve curled up in an old quilt on one of the benches, while Hubbard, George and I spread a tarpaulin on the floor and rolled in our blankets upon it.

To be continued.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Word of the Week for REDEFiNE iT: angishore

Join us in playing REDEFiNE iT
with the Dictionary of Newfoundland English

Word of the Week (October 9):

angishore n also angashore, angyshore, hangashore, etc

angishore n also angashore, angyshore, hangashore, etc [phonetics unavailable]. EDD angish 2: angishore 'a poverty-stricken creature' Ir (1894); JOYCE 211 ang-ishore; DINNEEN aindeiseoir 'an unfortunate person or thing, a wretch' for sense 1. An aspirate [h] is frequently pronounced initially in words beginning with vowels; therefore this Irish loan angishore is often pronounced and spelled hangashore, and this in turn has been reinterpreted by folk etymology.

1 A weak, sickly person; an unlucky person deserving pity; freq preceded by poor. 1914 Cadet Apr, p. 7 'Angyshore' a youngster who is no good, sick, weak, and unable to do his work. 1929 MILLER 44 "Big Davey's Comforting": So he kep' bathin' the place 'at's tore / An' sayin—'Pore little 'ang-ashore!' 1931 BYRNES 121 How many years have passed my friends, since you heard these once familiar localisms? . . .'The poor angashure.' 1966 HORWOOD 18 If some poor 'angshore be brought low be 'is own foolishness, maybe that be a cross an' affliction 'e can't help. P 130-67 He hasn't a coat to his back, the poor angishore. 1968 DILLON 131 You poor little angishore, are you frost-burned with the cold? P 144-77 The poor angishore! There's not flesh on her to bait a trout. 1979 Evening Telegram 24 Nov, p. 15 'Come in, girl,' sez the woman. 'Himself is in the kitchen with a face like black Monday on him, but I suppose the poor 'angashore is in pain.'

2 A man regarded as too lazy to fish; a worthless fellow, a sluggard; a rascal; sometimes merges with sense 3. 1924 ENGLAND 180 Know where them angyshores was to? Hidin' behind a pinnacle. They fired their pipes, an' was chewin' the fat rather 'an haulin' it in! 1964 Evening Telegram 17 July, p. 22 'What are you two angashores doin'? sez he. 'I had word from a woman in Bell Island she's havin' water trouble, an' I'm going out to Portugal Cove to pick up her pump. Do you want to come along?' 1966 SCAMMELL 53-4 I got no use for that dolled-up hangashore. 1970 JANES 23 [He] grumbled that if a man was not wearing khaki people seemed to take it for granted that he was some kind of cowardly hangashore.

3 An idle, mischievous child or person; SLEEVEEN. 1956 Daily News 13 Aug For example, when someone (especially a child) is doing something he should not be doing one would say, 'Stop that, you angishore.' C 70-18 'You little hangashore,' my grandfather called me on a spring's day of 1956. The term was used in anger. [1973] ROSE (ed) 71 "The Hangashore": Uncle Solomon Noddy was a hangashore if ever there was one. By that I mean he was too bad to be called a good-for-nothin' and not bad enough to be called a sleeveen. He was just ... a hangashore. 4 A migratory fisherman from Newfoundland who conducts a summer fishery from a fixed station on the coast of Labrador; STATIONER. Cp FLOATER. 1936 SMITH 105 [chapter title] A Freighter and a 'Hang-a-shore' at Cutthroat.

Now, we invite u to REDEFiNE iT!

You can do it on the REDEFiNE iT facebook group or here on this blog.

N.B. Any Word of the Week recieving more than 10 redefinition posts will trigger a prize from Rattling Books for our favourite.

Mary Dalton Reads at UBC

Newfoundland poet Mary Dalton reads Wednesday

The Creative Writing department at UBC is pleased to be hosting Newfoundland poet Mary Dalton for a free public reading on Wednesday, October 10th, 2007, 4:00 to 5:00pm, in Buchanan E 476 (map).

Mary Dalton’s most recent collection is Red Ledger (2006), published by Véhicule Press. Red Ledger was reviewed in the current issue of The Believer and has been so successful it is already in its second printing. It was a finalist for the Atlantic Book Award for poetry and the E.J. Pratt Poetry Award.

For more information, please follow this link.


Mary Dalton's previous book of poems, Merrybegot, is available as an unabridged audio recording narrated by Anita Best with music by Patrick Boyle from Rattling Books.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Rob Mclennan does 12 or 20 Questions with Stan Dragland

The following is the beginning of a Blog Entry by Rob McLennan who provides an incredible service by mapping links from his text to all the places you can find out more about the things referred to. In this case the subject of his "12 or 20 questions" is Rattling Books' beloved Editorial Advisor Stan Dragland.
Stan Dragland (photo: Champney's West, NL) was born and brought up in Alberta. He was educated at The University of Alberta and Queen's University. He has taught at the University of Alberta, at The Grammar School, Sudbury, Suffolk, England, in the English Department at the University of Western Ontario in London, and in the Banff Centre Writing Studio. He now lives in St. John's, Newfoundland. He was founding editor of Brick, a journal of reviews and founder of Brick Books, a poetry publishing house, which he still serves as publisher and editor. Between 1993 and 1996 he was poetry editor for McClelland and Stewart. He has published three previous books of fiction: Peckertracks, a Chronicle (shortlisted for the 1978 Books in Canada First Novel Prize), Journeys Through Bookland and Other Passages, and (for children) Simon Jesse's Journey. He has edited collections of essays on Duncan Campbell Scott and James Reaney. Wilson MacDonald's Western Tour, a 'critical collage,' has been followed by two other books of criticism, The Bees of the Invisible: Essays in Contemporary English Canadian Writing and Floating Voice: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Literature of Treaty 9, which won the 1995 Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Literary Criticism. 12 Bars, a prose blues, was co-winner of the bpNichol Chapbook Award in 2003, the same year Apocrypha: Further Journeys appeared in NeWest Press's Writer-as-Critic series. Apocrypha was winner of the Rogers Cable Non-Fiction Award in 2005. In April 2004 the stage adaptation of Halldór Laxness's The Atom Station, co-written with Agnes Walsh, was performed at the LSPU Hall in St. John's. His most recent book is Stormy Weather: Foursomes, prose poetry from Pedlar Press, was shortlisted for the EJ Pratt Poetry Award in 2007. He is editor of the recently-released Hard-Headed and Big-Hearted: Writing Newfoundland, a collection of essays by Newfoundland historian Stuart Pierson.
1 - How did your first book change your life?
Wilson MacDonald’s Western Tour, 1923-4 was published by Coach House. It didn’t change anything, but it was nice to have a book accepted that I hadn’t submitted.
While I was reading material on Duncan Campbell Scott in the Lorne Pierce Collection, Queen’s University Library—working on my Ph.D. thesis—I ran across some letters to Pierce from MacDonald. The distinctive hand caught my attention. A glance at the content suggested that I should return to those letters at a later time, and I did. For my own pleasure, with no thought of publication, I gathered material (letters, poems, etc) relating to a reading tour on which Lorne Pierce of Ryerson Press sent MacDonald. I arranged all this material in a binder and showed it to various people, including Michael Ondaatje, who took it to Coach House Press and came back with an offer of publication from Victor Coleman.
The first book of my own—Wilson MacDonald’s Western Tour being an assemblage of materials by others—was Peckertracks. Coach House published that too, and once again nothing changed. Well, it was good to have a book out. It made me feel as though I had some credibility when the subject of writing came up in conversation. Back then there were no launches, no tours, not even for a book about a tour. I did make one appearance at the second Coach House Big Sonnet, where I felt like a small-timer, out of place in the company of Ed Dorn and others. So did August Kleinzahler, I think, himself a big-timer now, though he had the moxie to memorize his poem and recite it. Unfortunately, he strolled back and forth past the mike and the audience heard only bits.
Stan Dragland provides Editorial Advise to Rattling Books.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Kathleen Winter chatting about "boYs' Sunday October 7, St. John's Chapters

New Quarterly Cover Girl Kathleen Winter will chat about her new collection of short fiction boYs (Bibliosasis, 2007) at Chapters in St. John's, Sunday, October 7 from 2 - 4 pm.

Winter, who is just back from reading at the Eden Mills and Winnipeg International Writer's Festivals has people shamelessly chasing boYs all over creation.

You can buy boYs online from Biblioasis.

In St. John's boYs is available from Afterwords Bookstore, Bennington Gate Bookstore, The Tickle Trunk and the MUN Bookstore.

boYs is also available directly from the author, Kathleen Winter.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Walsh's Bachelors now available as Digital Download from rattlingbooks.com

Going Around with Bachelors
Narrated by the author with unaccompanied ballads sung by Simone Savard-Walsh. In this recording the author reads a selection of poems from her recent book of poems published by Brick Books (2007). The poems are interspersed with the unaccompanied ballad singing of Walsh's daughter Simone Savard-Walsh. This Digital Download is made available through Rattling Books courtesy of Brick Books and the author.
The spirit of the departed - source, origin, heritage, history - is the essence of this book, rich with the tang of Newfoundland speech. Agnes Walsh's first collection of poems, In the Old Country of My Heart, is one of the best loved poetry works to come out of Newfoundland. Going Around with Bachelors continues and extends Walsh's distinctive subject matter: the past in the present, Ireland and Portugal in Newfoundland, weather internal and external, the Cape Shore. Here are poems of place and of people in place, of family both immediate and extended. They are also absolutely contemporary poems by a poet, gifted with a remarkably flexible and distinctive voice, who is planted, in her own words, "straight up and down into what's new."
The Laying Out, 1956
Wash the corpse, put on the habit,
put the pennies on the eyelids,
the prayer book under the jaw,
fold the arms with the rosary beads
entwined around the fingers,
stop the clock, turn the looking glass
to the wall, knock him on the forehead
with the hammer to make sure he's dead.
"...Walsh's poetry is like nothing else you will read: 'clean as a shriek,' declarative, funny in all the unexpected places, full of unadorned wisdom and bone-naked sadness. There is no word for what you will find here - the closest we have is truth."
- Lisa Moore
"As Walsh explores her home and its past, or travels to Ireland or Portugal, she adheres to a phrase from Mary Oliver that she quotes at the beginning of one poem: 'the usual is news enough.' In these poems Walsh's usual becomes a thing of great and enduring beauty."
- Bill Robertson, The StarPhoenix
"...Me and Ye is pure, oral and aural delight."
- George Elliott Clarke, The Chronicle Herald
"Hearing Walsh’s work performed is a mesmerizing experience, for the rhythms of the poems themselves, the power of their narratives, and for the experience of listening to Walsh’s rich reading voice."
- Mark Callanan, The Independent

Rave Review of Winter's Architects in the National Post

A Soaring Novel That Breaks Every Rule
Robert Wiersema
National Post
September 29, 2007

By Michael Winter Viking Canada
384 pp., $34

With his new novel, The Architects Are Here, which has been long-listed for this year's Giller Prize, Michael Winter returns to the world of Gabriel English, the authorial proxy figure who will be familiar to readers of his short fiction and his novel This All Happened. (The relationship between the author and his textual counterpart will no doubt prove a fruitful field of inquiry for doctoral dissertations.) The new novel begins with an overview of Gabriel's childhood in Corner Brook, Nfld., and documents his friendship with David Twombly, who is either mercurial and irresistible, or just downright irritating, depending on your point of view. In the opening pages we learn that David is dead, and Gabriel, now in his 40s, is looking back, vowing to "tell as much of the truth as is important" about his dear departed friend, and about the woman who came between them, Nell Tarkington. These pages also set up the central narrative question of the book: How did David Twombly die?

To read the rest of this review, please click here.


The Big Why, Michael Winter's dazzling reinvention of the historical novel and witty faux memoir of the American artist Rockwell Kent, is being published in an unabridged audio edition by Rattling Books.

Click here to listen to a clip from The Big Why

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lure of the Labrador Wild, excerpt #6

The following excerpt is from Lure of the Labrador Wild by Dillon Wallace. Wallace's account of the failed canoe expedition through the Labrador wilderness that resulted in the death of journalist Leonidas Hubbard was first published in 1905 by Fleming H. Revell, New York. The unabridged audio edition is narrated by Jody Richardson and is available from Rattling Books.

The evening was well upon us when we saw the rocks off Cape Charles rising from the water, dismal, and dark, and forbidding. All day the rain had been falling, and all day the wind had been blowing a gale, lashing the sea into a fury. Our little ship was tossed about like a cork, with the seas constantly breaking over her decks. Decidedly our introduction to Labrador was not auspicious. Battle Harbour, twelve miles north of Cape Charles, was to have been our first stop; but there are treacherous hidden reefs at the entrance, and with that sea the captain did not care to trust his ship near them. So he ran on to Spear Harbour, just beyond, where we lay to for the night. The next day I made the following entry in my diary:

"Early this morning we moved down to Battle Harbour, where Mrs. Hubbard left us to return home. It was a most dismal time and place for her to part from her husband, but she was very brave. It was not yet six o'clock, and we had had no breakfast, when she stepped into the small boat to go ashore. A cold, drizzling rain was falling, and the place was in appearance particularly dreary; no foliage nor green thing to be seen--nothing but rocks, cold and high and bleak, with here and there patches of snow. They pointed out to us a little house clinging to the rocks high up. There she is to stay until the steamer comes to take her home, to spend a summer of doubts and hopes and misgivings. Poor little woman! It is so hard for those we leave behind. I stood aside with a big lump in my throat as they said their farewell." Up there in the dark wilderness for which we were bound Hubbard talked with me frequently of that parting.

On July 6th, the day after we left Battle Harbour, the captain informed us for the first time that the boat would not go to Rigolet on the way up, and gave us the option of getting off at Indian Harbour at the entrance to Hamilton Inlet or going on to Nain with him and getting off at Rigolet on the way back. Hubbard chose the former alternative, hearing which the customs officer came to us and hinted that nothing could be landed until we had had an interview with him. The result of the interview was that Hubbard paid duty on our entire outfit.

The next morning, Tuesday, July 7th, we reached Indian Harbour. Amid a chorus of "Good-bye, boys, and good luck!" we went ashore, to set foot for the first time on Labrador soil, where we were destined to encounter a series of misadventures that should call for the exercise of all our fortitude and manhood.


The island of the White Bear group upon which is situated the settlement of Indian Harbour is rocky and barren. The settlement consists of a trader's hut and a few fishermen's huts built of
frame plastered over with earth or moss, and the buildings of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, a non-sectarian institution that maintains two stations on the Labrador coast and one at St. Anthony in Newfoundland, each with a hospital attached. The work of the mission is under the general supervision of Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell, who, in summer, patrols the coast from Newfoundland to Cape Chidley in the little floating hospital, the steamer Strathcona, and during the winter months, by dog team, visits the people of these inhospitable shores. The main station in Labrador is at Battle Harbour, and at this time Dr. Cluny Macpherson was the resident physician.

Dr. Simpson, a young English physician and lay missionary, was in charge of the station at Indian Harbour. This station, being maintained primarily for the benefit of the summer fishermen from Newfoundland, is closed from October until July. Dr. Simpson had a little steamer, the Julia Sheridan, which carried him on his visits to his patients among the coast folk. We were told by the captain of the Virginia Lake that the Julia Sheridan would arrive at Indian Harbour on the afternoon of the day we reached there; that she would immediately steam to Rigolet and Northwest River with the mails, and that we undoubtedly could arrange for a passage on her. This was the reason that Hubbard elected to get off at Indian Harbour.

The trained nurse, the cook, and the maid-of-all-work connected with the Indian Harbour hospital ("sisters," they call them, although they do not belong to any order) boarded the Virginia Lake at Battle Harbour and went ashore with me in the ship's boat, when I landed with the baggage. Hubbard and George went ashore in our canoe. A line of Newfoundlanders and "livyeres" stood ready to greet us upon our arrival. "Livyeres" is a contraction of live-heres, and is applied to the people who live permanently on the coast. The coast people who occasionally trade in a small way are known as "planters." In Hamilton Inlet, west of Rigolet, all of the trappers and fishermen are called planters. There the word livyere is never heard, it having originated with with the Newfoundland fishermen, who do not go far into the inlet.

The "sisters" who landed with us had difficulty in opening their hospital, as the locks had become so rusted and corroded that the keys would not turn. We offered our assistance, and after removing the boards that had been nailed over the windows to protect them from the winter storms, we found it necessary to take out a pane of glass in order that Hubbard might unlatch a window, crawl through and take the lock off the door. The sisters then told us that Dr. Simpson might not arrive with the Julia Sheridan until the following day, and extended to us the hospitality of the station, which we thankfully accepted, taking up our temporary abode in one of the vacant wards of the hospital.

To be continued.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lisa Moore in Roundtable Discussion

Lisa Moore Discusses Empathy in Fiction with Four Other Prominent Canadian Novelists
from bookninja.com

LISA: Virginia Woolf has said: “Life is not a series of gig-lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning to the end.”

How to create empathy for a character? That is certainly what I want when I write, and what I want when I read. Here are the characters with staying power that instantly leap to mind: Anna Karenina, Jay Gatsby, Hans Schnier in Henrich Boll’s The Clown, Madame Olenska in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, Duddy Kravitz, Richard Ford’s Frank Bascomb, Humbert Humbert, Hans Castorp, Suttree, Olanna in Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s Half of A Yellow Sun, Mrs. Ramsay, Mrs. Dalloway, Mrs. Dalloway, Mrs. Dalloway — and they come to me in a sort of emotional shorthand.

I see Heinrich Boll’s clown in face paint on a dark stage, in a spotlight, performing with an oversized ring of keys. The keys are made of ice and they are melting in his hand as he tries to open an invisible door. This is an image of such torpid impotence and grim humour, that I knew, as soon as I read it more than twenty years ago, I would never forget it. Mrs. Ramsey, during the evening meal in To The Lighthouse, silently commanding Lily Briscoe to rescue a socially maladjusted young man. Lily Briscoe moving the salt shaker. Frank Bascomb’s son getting hit in the face by a baseball, down for the count — these brief gestures, these tiny moments, are as real to me as any brief moment in my own life: watching my son swim under the waterfall in Northern Bay, watching him emerge with his hair glossy and plastered down, his eyelashes spiky, his gaping, open-mouthed ecstasy, or: the thick chain that chokes my neighbor’s Rottweiller, slithering crazily through the dirt, the slathering 150-pound beast yanked by the neck, mid-air, and slammed back into the ground a yard from my feet.

These moments are the gig-lamps Virginia Woolf mentions and though they can dredge up the character from memory, whole and complete, they are not the full story. Nor would a series of such images or moments inspire empathy. Character is more than a lifetime of actions and repercussions and the hopping dance that stamps out those grass fires.

Character is desire. All those memorable characters want something. And whatever it is they want, a dinner party to go smoothly, a wife who has run off, a piece of land, to escape civil war, or death, to be desired themselves, a bowl of rabbit stew — whatever they want, they want it badly. No matter how big or small, they want it with all their might. And that desire is luminous and has made them alive and indelible. It doesn’t matter if we like them or not; or whether they are worthy of what they want. What matters is if we are caught up in the sweeping spotlight of that desire. We need to know if the desire will be consummated, or thwarted, and we will turn the page and remember them. Suddenly, in the midst of writing this, I have become aware that I might sound like I think I know what I’m talking about. I’ll be honest: I do not know what I am talking about.

I think character is extremely mysterious, and the difference between wooden puppets and blushing, trembling flesh might be a hair’s breadth or the Grand Canyon. It is alchemy, it is playing God, it’s magic, ungovernable, cantankerous, and fragile, a hard thing to pull off, impossible etc. I believe it has something to do with letting the reader create as much of the character as possible. I see Jay Gatsby standing apart from the party looking over the ocean, his hands in the pockets of a white linen suit. I don’t know for sure if Fitzgerald wrote a white linen suit with pockets. I could comb the pages and try to find one, but one exists for me whether he wrote it or not. This makes Gatsby a living being, he is capable of changing his clothes outside of the book. Is that craving to know — will this character get what he wants — a form of empathy? I think it might be.

To read the rest of this discussion, please click here.


The unabridged audio edition of Open by Lisa Moore, narrated by Lisa Moore, Holly Hogan and Mary Lewis is available from rattlingbooks.com.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Track of the Day on Garageband Oct 2: Lisa Moore

Garageband.com Track of the Day on 2 Oct 2007 in Ambient Category:

If You're There (from Open) by Lisa Moore

Open by Lisa Moore

unabridged Audio edition, narrated by Lisa Moore, Holly Hogan and Mary Lewis

is available from rattlingbooks.com