“Fascinating, infuriating, eloquent and cautionary.” —Postmedia
A Globe and Mail, CBC Books and Maclean’s Book of the Year
In the vein of Erik Larson’s Isaac’s Storm and Dead Wake comes an incredible true story of destruction and survival in Newfoundland by one of Canada’s best-known writers
"MacIntyre does more than relate this powerful story. An award-winning novelist, he raises the book to the level of literature." - The Globe and Mail
“MacIntyre is a superb writer, and his book’s two major set pieces . . . have moments of heart-stopping narrative . . . Yet it’s the subtle, nuanced intertwining of family and larger story that gives The Wake its power.” - Maclean’s
On November 18, 1929, a tsunami struck Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula. Giant waves up to three storeys high hit the coast at a hundred kilometres per hour, flooding dozens of communities and washing entire houses out to sea. The most destructive earthquake-related event in Newfoundland’s history, the disaster killed twenty-eight people and left hundreds more homeless or destitute. It took days for the outside world to find out about the death and damage caused by the tsunami, which forever changed the lives of the inhabitants of the fishing outports along the Burin Peninsula.
Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning writer Linden MacIntyre was born near St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, one of the villages virtually destroyed by the tsunami. By the time of his birth, the cod-fishing industry lay in ruins and the village had become a mining town. MacIntyre’s father, lured from Cape Breton to Newfoundland by a steady salary, worked in St. Lawrence in an underground mine that was later found to be radioactive. Hundreds of miners would die; hundreds more would struggle through shortened lives profoundly compromised by lung diseases ranging from silicosis and bronchitis to cancer. As MacIntyre says, though the tsunami killed twenty-eight people in 1929, it would claim hundreds if not thousands more in the decades to follow. And by the time the village returned to its roots and set up as a cod fishery once again, the stocks in the Grand Banks had plummeted and St. Lawrence found itself once again on the brink of disaster.
Written in MacIntyre’s trademark style, The Wake is a major new work by one of this country’s top writers.
Paperback, 368 pages
LINDEN MACINTYRE was the host of Canada’s premiere investigative television show, The Fifth Estate, for nearly twenty-five years. Born in St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, and raised in Port Hastings, Cape Breton, he began his career in 1964 with the Halifax Chronicle-Herald as a parliamentary bureau reporter. MacIntyre later worked at The Journal and hosted CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning before joining The Fifth Estate. His work on that show garnered an International Emmy, and he has won ten Gemini Awards. His bestselling first novel, The Long Stretch, was nominated for a CBA Libris Award, while his boyhood memoir, Causeway: A Passage from Innocence, was a Globe and Mail Best Book of 2006, winning both the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award. His second novel, The Bishop’s Man, was a #1 national bestseller and the winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction and the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award. His other novels include Why Men Lie, Punishment and The Only Café. MacIntyre lives in Toronto with his wife, CBC radio host and author Carol Off. They spend their summers in a Cape Breton village by the sea.