For this week’s Book Talk, I picked the book that is probably my favourite novel ever by a Newfoundland writer: Michael Crummey’s Galore. As I say in the video, it’s hard to describe this novel without using the words “sweeping” and “epic” because it is, well, a sweeping epic about a century of life in a Newfoundland outport.
What I love about this book is Crummey’s brilliant use of language, of which I give a few examples in the video. I have kind of an ambiguous relationship with a lot of literary fiction, because while I love writing where the language is carefully crafted and lovely, I don’t like it when a writer pays attention to language at the expense of plot or character development. If it’s nothing but lovely language, it might as well be poetry, and while poetry is beautiful, that’s not what I look for when I pick up a novel. For me, Galore is a nearly-perfect book because it marries wonderful writing with great characters and a compelling story.