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michael crummey, galore

“They were practical and serious and outlandishly foreign. They described the deathly ill as wonderful sick. Anything brittle or fragile or tender was nish, anything out of plumb or uneven was asquish. They called the Adam’s apple a kinkorn, referred to the Devil as Horn Man. They’d once showed the doctor a scarred vellum copy of the Bible that Jabez Trim had cut from a cod’s stomach nearly a century past, a relic so singular and strange that Newman asked to see it whenever he visited, leafing through the pages with a kind of secular awe.”

This is from the start of the second part of Galore, where Crummey introduces Dr. Newman, an outsider to the Newfoundland fishing community he’s spent the first part cataloguing through several generations. It seems to signal a shift in perspective, stepping out of the magical-realist family chronicle that’s preceded by giving the reader a fresh outsiders’ perspective on these towns. But this is about as far as that shift goes: Newman winds up married into one of the feuding families, and we recommence our trek through the generations.

Other Press 03.29.11

April 04, 2011, 12:48pm   Comments