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Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas

236 pages
Published:   September 1, 1999
Fiction  /  Short Story Collections
Paperback:   9780864922694    $18.95

"Going down the road" is part of the tradition of Atlantic Canada, but just as strong a tradition is coming back home for Christmas. When writers think of Christmas, home is on their minds, for better and for worse. Many of the stories in Home for Christmas relate to family, absent family or chosen families. A little sorrow, some ambivalence and a lot of joy visit Maritimers and Newfoundlanders at their Christmas tables. Following the success of Gifts to Last: Christmas Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland, Goose Lane is proud to present this all-new collection of Christmas stories. Like Gifts to Last, Home for Christmas contains stories by the region's finest writers, ranging from Lucy Maud Montgomery to Lynn Coady to Wayne Johnston. A few stories appear in Home for Christmas for the first time. Others are selected from books, including the funny yet poignant account of Hilda Porter's last Christmas from The Last Tasmanian by Herb Curtis and "Another Christmas," Ann Copeland's beautiful story of Sister Claire Delaney's first Christmas in the convent. Some authors, such as Maureen Hull and Kelly Cooper, are building strong reputations in literary periodicals, while others, including Harry Bruce and Mark Tunney, editor of The New Brunswick Reader, are journalists. In all, over 20 writers join their voices to make Home for Christmas express the wondrous variety of human nature and our longing for connection at Christmastime.


Sabine Campbell co-edited Fiddlehead Gold, an anthology marking the 50th anniversary of Canada's oldest literary magazine. As managing editor of The Fiddlehead and a member of its editorial staff since 1985, she knows the work of almost every writer in and from the Maritimes and Newfoundland.

Ray Guy. A winner of the Leacock Medal for humour, Ray Guy is a St. John's writer. "A Christmas Lament for a Child"s Loss of Faith" appeared first as a column in Atlantic Insight and then in his book Ray Guy's Best (1987). It appears here by permission of Formac Publishing Company Limited.

Ann Copeland, a native of Connecticut, lived in Sackville, New Brunswick, for twenty-five years before moving to Salem, Oregon, in 1996. A popular fiction writing instructor at workshops in Canada, the US, and New Zealand, she is the author of The ABCs of Writing Fiction and six books of stories. The Golden Thread, linked stories about Sister Claire Delaney, was a finalist for a 1990 Governor General's Award; "Another Christmas," first published in the Fiddlehead, is part of Strange Bodies on a Stranger Shore, the sequel to The Golden Thread.

Robert B. Richards is a retired librarian living in Fredericton. He has been a New Brunswicker forever and an on-again off-again contributor of poetry to different periodicals, notably The Fiddlehead and The Cormorant. His poetry chapbook Unfolding Fern was published by Spare Time Editions.

An International Christmas brings together seven stories and eight poems by well-known authors from Canada, the United States, Britain, and Germany. Included is Christmas fiction by Margaret Laurence, Roy MacGregor, Tim Wynne-Jones, Maureen Hull, Annie Dillard, Grace Paley, and Heinrich Böll. It also features poetry by such celebrated Canadian poets as P.K. Page, Milton Acorn, and John Terpstra, as well as Britain's John Julius Norwich and Wendy Cope.

David Helwig (1938-2018) grew up in Ontario and lived in Belfast, Prince Edward Island. He founded the Best Canadian Stories series, and he was the author of sixteen books of fiction and numerous works of non-fiction, including poetry, memoir, documentary and translation. His most recent work of fiction was Close to the Fire (Goose Lane, 1999), a novella, and the novel, The Time of Her Life (Goose Lane, 2000). "Missing Notes" appeared in ArtsAtlantic (61) and was selected for 98: Best Canadian Stories.

Kelly Cooper grew up in the tiny farming community of Senlac, Saskatchewan, where she vaccinated, branded, and ear-tagged cattle, sorted calves on foot and on horseback, drove cattle to pasture on horseback, and drove a tractor and a three-ton truck. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, Cooper taught high school English and later moved to Belleisle Creek, New Brunswick, with her husband, where until recently, she worked as an art teacher. The only girl among siblings and cousins, she routinely did "men's work," and now works with her husband on their dairy farm. Cooper's stories have been published the Fiddlehead, Room of One's Own, Descant, Grain, Prairie Fire, the Malahat Review, and the Windsor Review. They have been featured in anthologies such as Coming Attractions '02, Water Studies, and Home for Christmas. "River Judith" won the Fiddlehead Fiction Prize, and an early version of Eyehill won the prestigious David Adams Literary Award. Eyehill is her long-awaited first book.

Anne Simpson (b. 1956), a native of Ontario, now lives in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where she teaches writing at St. Francis Xavier University. "Dreaming Snow," originally published in The Fiddlehead, shared the Journey Prize in 1999, and her volume of poetry, Light Falls Through You (McClelland & Stewart, 2000), won the Atlantic Poetry Award. Her first novel, Canterbury Beach (Penguin, 2001), was a finalist for the Chapters/Robertson Davies Award.

Sue Sinclair grew up on the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk in Newfoundland and is currently living on Wəlastəkwiyik Territory, where she teaches creative writing at the University of New Brunswick. She is the author of five previous collections of poetry, all nominated for or winners of national or regional awards. Sinclair edits poetry for Brick Books and is also editor of the Fiddlehead.

Susan Haley lives near Black River, Nova Scotia. Blame It on the Spruce Budworm (1998) is her latest novel. "Dene Christmas" was first published in The Gaspereau Review (1998).

Mark Tunney is the editor of The New Brunswick Reader. Born in Toronto, he has lived in New Brunswick since 1982. Although he has been a journalist for many years, this is the first time his work has appeared in a book.

Harry Bruce was born in Toronto and made his home in Nova Scotia from 1971 until his recent move to Moncton, New Brunswick. He is a celebrated essayist, editor, journalist, and writer, with a dozen books to his credit, including An Illustrated History of Nova Scotia (1997) and Down Home: Notes of a Maritime Son (1988). In 1997 he won the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction, nearly twenty years after it was first awarded to him.

Bernice Morgan was born in 1935 in pre-Confederation Newfoundland. She is best known for her two novels, Random Passage (1992) and Waiting for Time (1994). Random Passage was made into a mini-series for CBC television. Her most recent book is The Topography of Love (2000). She lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.

A professor of literature and creative writing at St. Mary's University, Brian Bartlett (1953) won the 2000 Petra Kenney Poetry Competition. In 1997 he won the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize for the second time. He was born and raised in New Brunswick, and as an undergraduate at the University of New Brunswick, he was part of the circle of writers who gathered at "Windsor Castle," Alden Nowlan's home. Bartlett is the editor of Don MacKay: Essays on His Work (2003).

Syr Ruus was born in Tallinn, Estonia, and educated in the United States, and she has lived in Nova Scotia ever since. Her juvenile novel Edgar took first prize in the 1994 Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia competition, and she is now concentrating on adult fiction. "Christmas in the Country" first appeared in teh anthology Taking Off the Tinsel (1996).

Herb Curtis was raised near Blackville, on the Miramichi, and now lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick. His collection of short fiction, Luther Corhern's Salmon Camp Chronicles (1999), was nominated for the Stephen Leacock Award. The Last Tasmanian (1991, 2001), one of four novels, garnered the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and was a regional finalist for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

Lynn Coady now lives in Edmonton, though she was born and raised in Cape Breton. She has published a collection of short stories, Play the Monster Blind, and four novels. Her first novel, Strange Heaven, was nominated for the 1998 Governor General's Award for Fiction, while her latest novel, The Antagonist, was shortlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Ted Russell (1904-1977) was born in Coley's Point, a small community in Newfoundland. He was a teacher, a magistrate, a member of Joey Smallwood's cabinet (he resigned after two years), and an insurance salesman. He turned to writing when he was over fifty. "Santa Claus" is from Tales from Pigeon Inlet (1977).

Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in Clifton (now New London), Prince Edward Island, in 1874. Her first novel, Anne of Green Gables (1908), was followed by more than twenty others. Long after her death, in 1942, she remains one of Canada's most beloved writers.

Ephie Carrier is retired and lives at Dumfries, New Brunswick. Born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, he has lived in many parts of Canada and travelled all over the world. For the past several years he has been writing and telling stories for Storyfest New Brunswick. He is co-author with Jan Andrews of a children's book, Harvest *#401999). His story "Just Pick Up the Sticks" appeared in Echoes (Maine).

Jess Bond was born and raised in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. A graduate of the University of New Brunswick and Fredericton Teachers' College, she taught elementary school in Fredericton for several years and then moved to Scarborough, Ontario, where she taught for twenty years. Now retired, she lives near Belleville, Ontario.

Patrick O'Flaherty, who lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, has written four works of fiction, the most recent of which is the novel Benny's Island. His latest books is Old Newfoundland: A History to 1843 (1999).

David Weale, a professor of history at the University of Prince Edward Island, is a master storyteller. He has written six books, among them An Island Christmas Reader (1994) and The True Meaning of Crumbfest (1999). He has toured his stage shows, A Long Way from the Road (1998) and Greenmount Boy (2000), across the Island.

Born in 1930 at Saint John, Robert Gibbs was educated at the University of New Brunswick and at Cambridge University. An English professor at UNB, he also edited The Fiddlehead and has written extensively.

Paul Bowdring is a novelist, poet, editor, and teacher; he was born on Bell Island in Conception Bay, Newfoundland. He is the author of two novels, The Roncesvalles Pass (1989) and The Night Season (1997). He was also a long-time editor of TickleAce, a literary magazine. He lives in St. John's Newfoundland.

Clarissa Hurley, a writer and actor, lives in Fredericton. Her story "Women and Linen Look Best in the Dark" won first prize for short fiction in the 1998 New Brunswick Writers' Federation Competition.

John Steffler (b. 1947), a Toronto native, lives in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, where he teaches at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. His novel, The Afterlife of George Cartwright (McClelland & Stewart, 1992), won the Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. It was a finalist for the Governor General's Award and the Commonwealth First Novel Award. The version of Chapter Ten included in Atlantica appeared in The Fiddlehead (1991).

Wayne Johnston was born in Goulds, Newfoundland. He has written five novels, of which The Navigator of New York (2002) is the latest. His previous novel, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams (1998), was nominated for the most prestigious fiction awards in Canada; it won the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Pirze and the Canadian Authors' Association Award for Fiction. His memoir, Baltimore's Mansion (1999), was awarded the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.

Mary Jane Losier wrote "Whisper to the Wind" in memory of her mother-in-law, Lina Robichaud. She is a co-author of The Children of Lazarus: The Story of the Lazaretto at Tracadie (1987) and the author of Amanda Viger: Spiritual Healer to New Brunswick's Leprosy Victims (1999). She is the Community Liaison Representative in Bathurst for the Department of Extension, University of New Brunswick, and she gives workshops on life writing to children and adults.