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by Linda Little
ISBN 0864923511 / 9780864923516 / 0-86492-351-1
Publisher GLE Library
› Find signed collectible books: 'Strong Hollow'
2001 Amazon.ca/Books 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 [via]