978-0-86492-351-6 / 9780864923516

Strong Hollow


Publisher:GLE Library



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About the book:

2001 in Canada First Novel Award Shortlist:: Strong Hollow, Linda Little's first novel, is a tale of rough, mean, back-country life in contemporary Nova Scotia, far beyond the reach of taxmen, law enforcement, or any kind of modernity. Her protagonist, Jackson Bigney, is a quiet, intelligent, artistic child, lost among an enormous and nasty family of drunk, abusive men and sharp-tongued women. Jackson shirks the yoke of the world, building himself a tiny cabin on his family's land and earning a living as a bootlegger and marijuana grower. His life meanders meaninglessly until he meets Ian, a young fiddler, and enjoys a short, covert, but life-changing love affair with him. After a few weeks, Ian leaves for Toronto and a career, devastating Jackson, who quits drinking and bootlegging and seeks solace in honest, empty work.

Little's debut is impressive; her novel is chaotic and sometimes rambling, but she somehow keeps the horrid Bigney mob at bay long enough to craft a compelling story out of Jackson's inarticulate attempts at solitude. Strong Hollow skirts hokiness but doesn't quite collide with it, largely because of Little's powerful emotional intelligence. --Jack Illingworth

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