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Running the Whale's Back
Running the Whale's Back

Running the Whale's Back

304 pages
Published:   October 22, 2013
Fiction  /  Short Story Collections
Paperback:   9780864929136   $19.95

In a collection as fine in scope as it is intimate in detail, Running the Whale's Back presents a host of Eastern Canada's brightest literary talents, all putting pens to paper to explore the multiple facets of what we call "faith" through a unique Atlantic vantage point.

In a satisfying mixture of styles and themes, the full breadth of Atlantic Canadian spirituality is revealed. These are pieces that poke and prod, ruminate and circulate with themes of religion and cultures of spirituality. Mysticism meets piety, holiness argues with practicality, and hope lives side by side with despair as the stories spiral and waltz themselves across the four provinces.

As the authors leap from subject to subject, we discover death lurking in the lonely wilderness, ski jumpers participating in miracles, and preachers suffering marital discord. Featured authors are Michael Crummey, Sheldon Currie, Joan Clark, David Adams Richards, Kenneth J. Harvey, Clive Doucet, Deborah Joy Corey, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Michael Hennessey, Lynn Coady, D.R. MacDonald, Jessica Grant, Michael Winter, Samuel Thomas Martin, Michelle Butler Hallett, Kathleen Winter, and Ann Copeland.
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Andrew Atkinson is a part-time faculty member in the Department of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University who has published on Wayne Johnston, Flannery O'Connor, and Linden MacIntyre.

Mark Harris is a minister and writer in Halifax whose most recent book is The Light that Lives in Darkness, a collaboration with the New Brunswick visual artist Dan Steeves. Harris' writing on spirituality has been published in the US, the UK, China, and Korea.

Michelle Butler Hallett is the author of six novels, including her most recent novel, This Marlowe, which was nominated for both the ReLit Award and the Dublin International Literary Award. She lives in St. John’s.

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.


"A great read from cover to cover." — Quill & Quire

"T;rancendence seems to be the word that applies to this collection. ... Running the Whale's Back, through its themes of death and love that lock arms with belief and doubt, shows that age-old ideas are the best ones humans ever had, do have, will have, forever and ever. The ideas seem so good and lasting because they are articulated through the transcendent aesthetics of language, of story." — Winnipeg Review

"Serves to highlight this perpetual return to contemporary issues of faith: whether that faith be religious, economic, sexual or familial. ... These are stories that should be contemplated slowly and treated as individual meditations." — Atlantic Books Today

"While their origins are grounded and specific, the spiritual musings themselves are diffuse. ... the book's success — and it is a great read from cover to cover — comes down to the high quality of the stories themselves." — Quill & Quire