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The Coasts of Canada

A History

by Lesley Choyce

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historiography, polar regions, north america
list price: $37.95
category: History
published: 2002

From the days before the arrival of the Europeans in North America, when the original inhabitants of our country made their way across a small land bridge, to today's arrival in supersonic jets, there is one sight that is shared by all new Canadians — the country's dramatic coastline. In this eclectic history of the sea's elemental power over Canada's coastal peoples, Lesley Choyce brings to life the heroes and villains, the Aboriginals and the Europeans, the great and the humble, and the intrepid but ill-prepared explorers, who "discovered," travelled through, and inhabited Canada's east, west, and north coasts. Brimming with shipwrecks and rescues, roguery and virtue, and stories of overcoming unimaginable odds, The Coasts of Canada is both idiosyncratic and iconoclastic. "For once," writes Choyce, "let the mid-continental tales of Canada be relatively mute, and let the narratives of a coastal people reshape our visions of who we are." As benevolent as it is brutal, the sea has controlled Canada's history and shaped the country's collective identity. At once a book of discoveries and a record of misunderstandings, errors and misjudgements, The Coasts of Canada features the stories of hardy souls who persevere in difficult realms. It is also a plea to preserve the good things of the sea, the coastal communities, and the fragile environment that constitutes three borders of this country. A coast-dweller himself, Lesley Choyce is an irrepressible storyteller. His first major work of history, the bestselling Nova Scotia: Shaped by the Sea, was praised by Laurier LaPierre in The Globe and Mail as "a poet's affair with the sea" and "an appealing work of storytelling." In The Coasts of Canada, he carries his enthusiasm for good stories to all of coastal Canada.

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Editorial Reviews

"From shining coast to coast to coast . . . [The Coasts of Canada] continues the notion of a Canada defined by its surrounding waters." — Toronto Star

"A very readable anthology of fasinating yarns . . . a prolonged saga of looting and destruction." — The Beaver

"Covers a lot of ground, both getographically and chronologically . . . Choyce has assembled a huge amount of information in this relatively small volume." — Canadian Geographic

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About the Author

Lesley Choyce

Lesley Choyce, who has been teaching English and creative writing for over thirty years, is the author of more than ninety books of literary fiction, short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction and young adult novels. He has won the Dartmouth Book Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Ann Connor Brimer Award. He has also been short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor, the White Pine Award, the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award, the Aurora Award from the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association and, most recently, the Governor General’s Literary Award. He lives in Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia.
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