"One could do worse than to grow up on a river. "
In his new collection of essays, Wayne Curtis voyages back through the tributaries of his past, throwing a pastoral net over the backwaters of his childhood to ensnare the sepia-tinged moments of love, loss, and life lessons he gleaned through his rise to maturity on the waterways of New Brunswick. As Proust recalled his past through the delicate taste of a madeleine, so, too, Curtis ruminates on growing up on the Miramichi, albeit through the more uniquely Canadian flavour of the home-cooked doughnut. Curtis writes of the simple pleasures of fishing with friends, of one's first unforgettable kiss, and of a father who teased his children that "all dreams that were told before breakfast had a better chance of becoming real. "
Of Earthly and River Things is at once a nostalgic trek through history and elegy for a vanishing culture, a world where its people were grateful to the river for its bounty.
Wayne Curtis was born in Keenan, New Brunswick, on the banks of the Miramichi River. He was educated at the local schoolhouse and at St. Thomas University. He started writing prose in the late 1960s. His essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Outdoor Canada, Fly Fishermen, and the Atlantic Salmon Journal.
"Wayne Curtis is one of our very best writers!"
— David Adams Richards
"Poetic prose and microscopic detail combined with thoughtful reflection and vivid storytelling makes Of Earthly and River Things a celebration and hymn of praise. Curtis is a romantic in the best sense. He evokes a gentler past and offers us a refreshing immersion into a life lived deeply connected to the land, the cycles of nature, and currents of a river. "
— Sheree Fitch
"Set on the greatest river in the East, this memoir's bright run of prose dives deeply, rises, and leaps lyrically through these pages like the innocent days and magnificent fish it memorializes. It is a masterwork grounded in the love of earth and water, family and community, youth and age, dream and reality, by one of our finest writers, ‘the speaking soul of the river. ’ "
— Harry Thurston
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