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Doubleday Canada, HC
About this Book - Gaffer by Kevin Major
Caustic, poetic, profoundly moving, Gaffer jackknifes through five hundred
years of Newfoundland history, and lunges ahead through fifty more.
The young gaffer at its centre is tormented by the death of his father aboard
a doomed offshore rig. He refuses to stand idle and watch his outport home
collapse to rubble. Obsessively pulled to the sea, the boy transforms himself
into a creature able to take to the depths of the ocean, and swim freely
across tide and time. There he confronts denizens of the island's past, from
Cabot to Bardot. And it is there he is granted a view of its blackened
Kevin Major spins the language and legends of Newfoundland into a rawly
"As the sun's rays flickered at the distant edge of the sea, he stood on shore lathering his bare self with the seal fat that had rendered to oil in his uncle's shed. A thick rancid grease to stave off the cold and make supple his leather skin. He worked it into every crease and hollow, even about his head, spitting it away when it touched his lips. Ran what seeped between his fingers through his hair, slicking it black and shiny, flat to his head. He donned trunks to streamline him. Stood, hands overhead sharpened to an arrow, tautly poised upon a rock, the carved youth of a man aimed toward the swirl of the highest tide."
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