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Atlantic Books for the Holidays

Gifts to Last

Christmas Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland

by Walter Learning; Joseph Sherman; Deirdre Kessler; Tessie Gillis; Herb Curtis; Deannie Sullivan-Fraser; Ellison Robertson; Jon Conway Dewar; David Adams Richards; M.T. Dohaney; Ray Guy; Helen Fogwill Porter; Lucy Maud Montgomery; Alden Nowlan; Antonine Maillet; Lawrence O'Toole; Carol Bruneau; Clive Doucet; Alistair MacLeod & Grahame Woods

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anthologies (multiple authors)
list price: $16.95
category: Fiction
published: 1996

Christmas a-glitter, Christmas on a shoestring. Christmas wrecked. Christmas salvaged. Christmas in city, village and country, in church and shopping mall and barn — they're all here, in stories by the best writers in the Maritimes and Newfoundland. Walter Learning's Christmas treat opens with "Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves," from Anne of Green Gables. Stars such as Alistair MacLeod and Antonine Maillet join their voices with regional favourites including Herb Curtis, Deirdre Kessler, and Helen Fogwill Porter. Goose Lane's own adaptation of David Adams Richards's screenplay Small Gifts is published here for the first time. Grahame Woods's adaptation of Gordon Pinsent's pilot for the CBC-TV series A Gift to Last ends this fulfilling celebration.

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About the Authors

Walter Learning

Walter Learning, a popular actor, director, and broadcaster, has served as artistic director at the Confederation Centre for the Arts and the Charlottetown Festival, and at the Vancouver Playhouse. He was founding artistic director of Theatre New Brunswick in Fredericton, and in 1995 he returned to TNB as executive producer.
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Joseph Sherman

Joseph Sherman is a Gemini award-winning children’s animation series director, with 30 years of experience in the design and production of animated series, motion graphics and print illustrations. This is his first picture book.
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Deirdre Kessler

Author of ten children's books, DEIRDRE KESSLER teaches children's literature at the University of Prince Edward Island. She was the project director and a member of the creative team of the award-winning CD-ROM on Lucy Maud Montgomery and her work.
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Tessie Gillis

Born in 1910 in Montana, Tessie Gillis moved with her husband Joe to Rear Glencoe in Inverness County in the 1950s to live the hard, satisfying life of rural Cape Breton. Illness finally gave her the opportunity to write, and her friend and editor Evelyn Garbary helped her bloom into one of Cape Breton's finest writers.
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Herb Curtis

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.
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Deannie Sullivan-Fraser

Deannie Sullivan-Fraser's is the author of a family musical, Time Shadows, where she wrote the play and the music. One of the songs, Making Tracks was recorded for Sesame Street. Two other songs, I Had a Place and You're my World have been recorded by the Ontario group, Arane. Deannie is taking her Masters in Atlantic Canada Studies at St. Mary's University in Halifax. She is currently writing her thesis, Home Medicine of Rose Blanche, Newfoundland. Deannie has also written articles for The Chronicle Herald and The Daily News and various other publications. She has worked as an associate producer, production assistant and researcher for CBC Radio's Mainstreet, a researcher for Vision's Reinventing Rituals, Marrying Well, Street Cents, Land & Sea and CBC special documentaries series, as well as historical feature film, Butterbox Babies. Johnny and the Gipsy Moth is based on an amazing event in her young father's life.

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Ellison Robertson

Readers of New Maritimes will be familiar with Ellison Robertson's evocative stories of industrial Cape Breton, his articles and his paintings. A native of Sydney, Nova Scotia, he now lives in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. His novel In Love with Then was published by Goose Lane Editions in 1992.
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Jon Conway Dewar

Jon Conway Dewar. A Saint John writer, Jon Conway Dewar won the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia Atlantic Canadian Literary Competition for drama in 1991. "One Turkey Extra" was first published in The New Brunswick Reader in 1994 and appears here by permission of the author. He dedicates this story to the memory of his father, Oliver Dewar.
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David Adams Richards

David Adams Richards. The novels of David Adams Richards put New Brunswick's Miramichi region on the world's literary map. "Small Gifts" is an adaptation by Goose Lane Editions of his screenplay Small Gifts, first broadcast on CBC TV in 1995. Small Gifts won a Gemini Award in 1996 and the 1996 New York International Film Festival Award for Best Screen Play. The adaptation appears here by permission of the author and Goose Lane Editions.
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M.T. Dohaney

M.T. (Jean) Dohaney was born in the small village of Point Verde, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. She moved to Fredericton in 1954, where she completed her BA in English at the University of New Brunswick. She holds both a MA and PhD in literature from the University of Maine and Boston University, respectively. In 1988, she released her first book, The Corrigan Women, which was followed by To Scatter Stones in 1992, A Marriage of Masks in 1996 and A Fit Month for Dying in 2000.
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Ray Guy

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Helen Fogwill Porter

Helen Fogwill Porter was born and grew up in St. John’s. Her first book Below the Bridge, was published by Breakwater in 1980. Her short stories, poetry, plays, and reviews have been published and performed across Canada. She now lives in St. John’s, NL.
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Lucy Maud Montgomery

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Alden Nowlan

Alden Nowlan was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1933. Though he was largely self-taught, he was a prolific writer who published poetry, plays, short stories, and novels. He received a Governor General's Award in 1967 for Bread, Wine and Salt (1967), and in the same year won a Guggenheim Fellowship. He became the writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick in 1969, a position he held until his death in 1983.
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Antonine Maillet

Antonine Maillet is one of Canada's best-known writers. Among her many honours are the Prix Goncourt, which she received for her novel Pélagie-la-charette, the first non-French citizen to do so, and the Governor General's Award for fiction for Don L'Orignal, both available in translation from Goose Lane Editions.
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Lawrence O'Toole

Lawrence O'Toole. Originally from Renews, Newfoundland, Lawrence O'Toole became well known as a movie critic for Maclean's; he now lives in New York. A version of "Goodbye to the Wren and the Fools" appeared in Saturday Night in December 1990 and, in a different form, in Heart's Longing: Newfoundland, New York and the Distance Home (1994). This version of "Goodbye to the Wren and the Fools" appears by permission of the author.
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Carol Bruneau

Carol Bruneau is the acclaimed author of three short story collections, including A Bird on Every Tree, published by Vagrant Press in 2017, and five other novels. Her first novel, Purple for Sky, won the 2001 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award. Her 2007 novel, Glass Voices, was a Globe and Mail Best Book and has become a book club favourite. Her most recent novel, A Circle on the Surface, won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award. Her reviews, stories, and essays have appeared nationwide in newspapers, journals, and anthologies, and two of her novels have been published internationally. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband and their dog and badass cat.
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Clive Doucet

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Alistair MacLeod

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Grahame Woods

Grahame Woods and Gordon Pinsent. As well as starring in the CBC-TV series A Gift to Last, Gordon Pinsent wrote the teleplays for the pilot and many of the subsequent episodes. Grahame Woods, a novelist and television playwright, novelized the series from Pinsent's teleplays. Woods also wrote the book for the musical stage version, with music and lyrics by Joey Miller; it has been performed at Christmas and in summer theatres since the late 1980s. Walter Learning and Alden Nowlan dramatized Gordon Pinsent's pilot for the stage, and this play, also titled A Gift to Last, has been performed throughout Canada to great acclaim. "A Gift to Last," the prose version of Gordon Pinsent's pilot and the first three chapters of Grahame Woods's book A Gift to Last (1978) © Grahame Woods, is reprinted by permission of Seal Books.
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