The Grey Islands

By John Steffler

The Grey Islands
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Since its first publication in 1985, The Grey Islands has become a classic of Canadian wilderness writing to set beside the works of Thoreau, Annie Dillard and Aldo Leopold. Using a broad range of forms and styles – lyric, anecdote, field notes, documents and pseudo-documents, ... Read more


Overview

Since its first publication in 1985, The Grey Islands has become a classic of Canadian wilderness writing to set beside the works of Thoreau, Annie Dillard and Aldo Leopold. Using a broad range of forms and styles – lyric, anecdote, field notes, documents and pseudo-documents, ghost story, tall tale – Steffler relates the story of one man’s pilgrimage to a remote island of Newfoundland’s northern peninsula. Often comic, and always deeply passionate and sensuous, The Grey Islands tells of the sharpening of perceptions whetted by solitude, wind and rock, and of the pilgrim’s people – living and dead – who have striven to exist under its harsh regime. As in his other books, like That Night We Were Ravenous or his acclaimed novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright, Steffler’s writing delivers the bite of raw experience and embraces existence at the edge in all its terror and beauty.

John Steffler

John Steffler’s critically acclaimed poetry collections include The Grey Islands, That Night We Were Ravenous, and Lookout, which won the Atlantic Poetry Prize. His novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction. Steffler served as Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada from 2006 to 2008. He divides his time between Montreal and rural Ontario.

 

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