Donna Morrisey

[IMAGE]

SYLVANUS NOW


“Morrissey summons energy and passion to invest this clash of the old versus the new with an epic quality -- and succeeds ... the writing is poised, charged and tactile, almost biblical in places.”

The Sunday Times (London)

“...Breathtakingly beautiful...A splendidly unique novel.”

Alistair MacLeod

“...an arresting tale, recounted in powerful, lyrical prose.”

Montreal Gazette

“Absorbing human drama, in Morrissey’s best yet.”

Kirkus Review


A masterpiece ...a powerful tale of two people caught in the upheaval of personal, social, and global change of unimagined proportions.

The time is the 1950s and the place is Canada’s Atlantic coast at the edge of the great Newfoundland fishing banks.

Sylvanus Now is a young fisherman of great charm and strength who hauls in his catch by standing on the gunnels of his boat in a rolling sea, line-jigging for cod. He sun-cures and salts them in time-honored fashion.

His desires are simple; he wants a suit and he knows how much fish he has to catch to pay for it. That suit helps him lure the girl he wants—the fine-boned beauty, Adelaide. But looming on his horizon are menacing fishing trawlers that suck the fish from sea.

This is the love story of Sylvanus Now and the fiery Adelaide. Despite her hatred of the sea, the fish, and the stultifying community, she seeks refuge from her troubled family with Sylvanus and with the kind, stalwart Edith Now, Sylvanus’s mother.

As we become engrossed in the love story of Addie and Sylvanus with its heartbreaking loss of their babies in childbirth, and the tender renewal of their passion, we are aware that Sylvanus Now’s eternal, beloved sea is on the cusp of cataclysmic change. What choices face them now?

Donna Morrissey, an award-winning author of Kit’s Law and Downhill Chance, grew up in The Beaches, a small fishing outport in Newfoundland. She worked in a fish plant and is an eloquent witness to the stunning collapse of the cod fishery. Critics have compared her rich stories to the works of such writers as Thomas Hardy, Dickens, and Shakespeare. She lives in Halifax.

Penguin Canada 2005
Hodder & Stoughton UK 2005
W.W. Norton U.S.A. 2006
Premium/DTV Germany 2007

[IMAGE]


DOWNHILL CHANCE


“A Newfoundland Thomas Hardy...Morrissey’s work is a performance, an almost oral folk epic.”

The Globe and Mail

“A Wuthering Heights of the craggy coast of Newfoundland, a family epic of full (and fulsome) proportions.”

The London Free Press


Awards:

Thomas H. Randall
Atlantic Award

Shortlisted/Independent
Bookselllers Award


There is no road to Rocky Head or The Basin, two tiny fishing hamlets hugging the isolated coves of Newfoundland. Little outside news permeates daily existence. And only the occasional visitor turns up "to keep the bloodlines clean." But remoteness is no barrier to the global reach of World War II, which has its tragic impact, even here.

Job Gale, a strong fisherman, hunter, and logger, enlists in the army to fight in Italy, leaving his distraught wife and two young daughters behind for a cause neither they nor their neighbors can understand. When Job returns at last, he is broken in body and tortured with a secret shame.

Job's burden cascades over the family, unknowingly afflicting his young daughter Clair. She seeks escape from The Basin to become a teacher nearby at Rocky Head.

The spirited Clair falls in love with Luke, who courts her from a distance, tantalizing her with a story charmingly transmitted. But the story reveals Luke's own secret sorrow and guilt. Even in idyllic isolation, Luke's life was forever touched by the arrival of the boy Gid O'Mara and his violent father.

The expression "downhill chance" was a favorite of Job Gale during his logging days when he urged his horses onward, pulling their heavy cargo uphill with the promise of respite on the downhill ride.

Clair and Luke struggle separately with their burdens, helping each other gain courage to confront their demons and disappointments. When they arrive at the summit, they finally can see the clear path below. On the downhill journey, the load may not lessen, but it feels lighter and easier to carry.

In this profound work, Donna Morrissey revisits the tiny patch of Newfoundland coastline where she grew up. A master storyteller, she embraces the great dramas and themes of world literature in this deceptively simple story of Luke and Clair.

Forum Sweden 2004
Houghton Mifflin US 2003
Hodder & Stoughton UK 2002
Penguin Canada 2002

[IMAGE]

KIT'S LAW


“Irresistible...Masterful...The rich, rocky terrain of Newfoundland has borne a native storyteller with talent to burn in Donna Morrissey.”

Sunday Tribune, Dublin


Awards:

Barnes & Noble US
Discover a Great Author

Winifred Holtby Prize UK

Alex Award/ American Library Association


This little miracle of a book, celebrated for the glories of old-fashioned story-telling, has become a perennial best-seller. Donna Morrissey, who grew up in the tiny outport where she sets her novels, gives us the lovable Kit Pitman.

At 14, never having known her father, Kit becomes responsible for her mentally handicapped mother when her grandmother dies. She fends off village busybodies who try to place mother and daughter in institutions.

Throughout the turmoil, Kit is sustained by a kindly doctor and the love of Sid, son of Reverend Ropson. Confronted by shattering revelations, Kit retains her courage and resilience.

Aoyama Japan 2003
Houghton Mifflin US 2001
Heyne Germany 2001
Hodder & Stoughton UK 2000
Penguin Canada 1999

[IMAGE]

Donna Morrissey, award-winning author of Sylvanus Now, Kit's Law and Downhill Chance, grew up in The Beaches, a small fishing outport in Newfoundland. She worked in a fish plant and is an eloquent witness to the stunning collapse of the cod fishery. Critics have compared her rich stories to the work of such writers as Thomas Hardy, Dickens, and Shakespeare. She lives in Halifax.

[IMAGE] [IMAGE]