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From the archives

The Melmac Years

My peculiar resin d’être

Maple Branches

Who talks of my nation?

Listening In

What recent populist victories tell us about Canada

Brad Dunne

Brad Dunne is a freelance writer and editor in St. John’s.

Articles by
Brad Dunne

Sibling Rivalry

The latest from Michael Crummey November 2023
In his 2014 novel, Sweetland, Michael Crummey describes a Newfoundlander living in Alberta who sends “serious” books home to her mother, Queenie, trying to rehabilitate her lowbrow taste to little avail: “Half the books supposedly set in Newfoundland were nowhere Queenie recognized and she felt insulted by their claim on her life. They all sounds like they was written by…

Fraudsters Abound

Tom Rachman’s new novel September 2023
Tom Rachman isn’t trying to be coy in The Imposters. Its protagonist, Dora Frenhofer, a writer increasing in age while diminishing in relevance, opines early in the novel that “readers want a book to add up to something, not to some things. So I must tie these people together. Maybe the manuscript could be about writing…

Rock Group

Stories from the Happy Province January | February 2023
This anthology of short stories from seventeen authors based in Newfoundland has a fitting title: “hard ticket” is, as the cover attests, local slang meaning “a lively character, a tough or headstrong person, someone not easily controlled.” Edited by the award-winning novelist Lisa Moore, the collection will be a pleasant surprise for readers expecting small rural…

Snow Globe

Lisa Moore’s latest September 2022
It began on Friday, January 17, 2020, as a record-breaking “Snowmageddon” blasted Newfoundland and Labrador with 130-kilometre-an-hour winds and buried St. John’s under seventy-six centimetres of heavy flakes — on top of the metre already piled on the ground. Thousands of people were trapped inside their homes with no electricity as they waited for the armed forces to help dig them…

As Time Goes By

The new Old Sam November 2021
My dad passed away last fall, and my sister and I recently toasted him with a couple glasses of his favourite drink: Old Sam and Pepsi. The demerara rum is a popular tipple in Newfoundland, with its coppery red hue and flavours of molasses and tobacco. It can be a little harsh without ice, but it’s smooth when mixed with…

Where Magic Is Real

Stretches of the imagination May 2021
In his 2007 book, A Secular Age, the philosopher Charles Taylor drew a distinction between pre-modern and modern people as porous versus buffered. Pre-modern people lived in an “enchanted” society where spirits and supernatural forces could cross over into our material plane. Individuals consequently believed in prayer, superstitions, alchemy, and talismanic objects that would protect them from…

Taking Stock

What if the cod never returns? April 2020
Arguably, the three most important events in Newfoundland hist­ory are as follows. First, in 1497, John Cabot, a Venetian explorer, “discovered” the island on behalf of England. (The first European to actually visit Newfoundland — and America, for that matter — was Leif Ericsson in approximately 1000.) Second, in 1949, Newfoundland joined Confederation, thanks in large part to Joey…