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THE INNOCENTS

Michael Crummey

  • Original Title: THE INNOCENTS
  • Publication date: November 2019
  • Publisher: KNOPF DOUBLEDAY
  • Country: CA
  • 304 print pages
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 19th century
  • Location setting: Canada
  • Themes: FAMILY, Siblings, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Survival, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Solidarity, PEOPLE facing life, Surpassing oneself, Facing failure, Loyalty, CHARACTERS, Child, Mourning, Teenage pregnancy, Coming of age, Death, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Poverty, LOVE / HATE, Sex, Strong Female Character

Pitch

An orphaned brother and sister must fend for themselves on a remote fishing outpost in the late 1800s.

Comments

Translation rights sold: French Canada, France, US, Poland

The book is already selling 1,000 copies a week. (November 2019)

A Scotiabank Giller Prize 2019 Finalist
Selected for the 2019 Governor General's Awards
Shortlisted for Writers Trust and pre-prizes

Publishing rights acquired in a very nice deal.

Michael Crummey is a Canadian poet and a writer of historical fiction. His debut novel, RIVER THIEVES (2001) was a Canadian bestseller, winning the Thomas Head Raddall Award and the Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing. It was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the IMPAC Award. His second novel, THE WRECKAGE (2005), was nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and longlisted for the 2007 IMPAC Award.

Summary

A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland's northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by the feral ocean, by a relentless pendulum of abundance and murderous scarcity. Still children with only the barest notion of the outside world, they have nothing but the family's boat and the little knowledge passed on haphazardly by their mother and father to keep them.

Muddling though the severe round of the seasons, through years of meagre catches and storms and ravaging illness, it is their fierce loyalty to each other that motivates and sustains them. But as seasons pass and they wade deeper into the mystery of their own natures, even that loyalty will be tested.

THE INNOCENTS is a riveting story of hardship and survival, and an unflinching exploration of the bond between brother and sister. By turns electrifying and heartbreaking, it is a testament to the bounty and barbarity of the world, to the wonders and strangeness of our individual selves.


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  • Author’s biography

    Michael Crummey is a Canadian poet and a writer of historical fiction. His writing often draws on the history and landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador. He began to write poetry while studying at Memorial University in St. John's, where he won the university's Gregory J. Power Poetry Contest in 1986 and received a B.A. in English in 1987. He completed a M.A. at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, in 1988, later leaving the Ph.D. program to pursue his writing career. He published a slender collection of poems called ARGUMENTS WITH GRAVITY in 1996, followed two years later by HARD LIGHT. 1998 also saw the publication of a collection of short stories, FLESH AND BLOOD, and Crummey's nomination for the Journey Prize. His debut novel, RIVER THIEVES (2001) was a Canadian bestseller, winning the Thomas Head Raddall Award and the Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing. It was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the IMPAC Award. His second novel, THE WRECKAGE (2005), was nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and longlisted for the 2007 IMPAC Award.