“Quoyle is a hapless, hopeless hack journalist living and working in New York. When his no-good wife is killed in a spectacular road accident, Quoyle heads for the land of his forefathers – the remotest corner of far-flung Newfoundland. With his delinquent daughters, Bunny and Sunshine, in tow, Quoyle finds himself a part of an unfolding, exhilarating Atlantic drama. The Shipping News is an irresistible comedy of human life and possibility.”
This novel is dark, comedic and set in Canada. As a long-time resident of the HSC Extension 1 English list and winner of the Pulitzer, it is considered an excellent work of fiction and for good reason. I love stories set against compelling landscapes. Barren, wintry, harsh and wildly remote, it is a dying, dwindling place much like many of the people who find themselves there. And while it is set in modern North America, don’t expect sentimental realism from Proulx’s postmodern novel. Her meandering narrative is bizarre and the rich gambit of characters are comical in their extremity. But it is through these and a
swath of intriguing motifs, visuals and metaphors that she weaves together a mesmerising story of redemption. It is a story about being human, about brokenness and family, about ancestry and identity, about love, forgiveness and the acceptance of self.