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Spit Delaney's Island

The Play

by Charles Tidler & Jack Hodgins

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list price: $25.95
also available: eBook Paperback
category: Drama
published: 2015
publisher: Ekstasis Editions
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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

Spit Delaney's Island: Selected Stories

In this collection of short stories first published in 1976, Hodgins creates unique, tough and quirky characters living in small towns on Vancouver Island. An engineer loses the love of his life and a radio DJ spends his life trying to spite his family. Set against the backdrop of farming life and the logging industry, these stories are about love gone wrong and lives left unfulfilled.

Hodgins has written many short story collections and novels including The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne. This book won the Eaton’s Book Prize when it was first published.

Caution: Use of the term “Indian”. Includes coarse language. Describes sex, physical and domestic violence, and keeping a disabled child locked away in unhealthy conditions.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2011-2012.

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Adapted for the stage by Charles Tidler from two stories by Jack Hodgins. Spit Delaney is a steam locomotive operator at a pulp mill. After decades of rising at 4am to fire up his beloved steam engine, Spit finds himself without a job when the pulp mill replaces “Old Number One” with a modern diesel engine. Spit declares that he is: “Not sure of where or how I belong.” Spit’s relationship with his family and the world around him is thrown in turmoil as he doggedly tries to hang onto an identity that is no longer relevant. This is the stuff of comedy, and yet it is also the stuff of the human condition. As we laugh at Spit’s misguided struggle to stay the same, we empathize with his loneliness at being left behind while others move on – more readily adapting to a changing world. But there are magical forces at work here, guiding Spit – kicking and screaming – towards a deeper understanding of himself and an unexpected outcome.

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Contributor notes

Charles Tidler was born in northwestern Ohio in 1946 and grew up in Tipton, Indiana. He attended Purdue University to study poetry and philosophy. A Vietnam War draft resister, Charles immigrated to Canada, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1976. The father of two sons, he lives and teaches and writes in Victoria, BC.
Jack Hodgins is an internationally lauded writer. His original book of short stories of the same name won the Eaton’s Book Prize and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award.

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About the Authors

Charles Tidler

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Jack Hodgins

Jack Hodgins was raised in Merville, on Vancouver Island. He has written seven novels and three short story collections, including Spit Delaney's Island and The Invention of the World. Hodgins’ fiction has won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award. He and his wife Dianne live in Victoria, BC.

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