View across an ancient land
Majestic Landscapes in Newfoundland
A photo of the Gros Morne National Park set the plan to visit Newfoundland. Time shaped the island of ancient rocks, which is the remnant of two prehistoric continents. The bare mountains, deep fjords and endless boreal forests drew not only us as visitors but also the Vikings a thousand years earlier. We knew little about the island, but Annie Proulx’ The Shipping News gave us a literary introduction.
Annie Proulx' The Shipping News
The Shipping News is about Quoyle, a newspaper reporter from upstate New York. Following a series of traumatic events he decides to move back to his childhood home on Newfoundland. After settling down with his two daughters in the abandoned family home, he learns over time more about the troubled past of his ancestors.
Annie Proulx embeds her story in the society of small fishing communities. Adapted to a hard life, the people on the island are shaped by a landscape of rugged coastlines, harsh weather and the traitorous sea.
The shared experience of isolation, struggle and loss binds these communities together. As they retell their memories of freezing winters, capsized ships and drowned people they pass on their stories to the next generation. Quoyle restarts his life on the island as a writer for a local newspaper. Learning more about the place he eventually becomes one of the island’s storytellers.
The holiday was too short to explore the social fabric of the island, but we enjoyed a landscape that was vividly described in this book.