FACES OF LEACOCK

FACES OF LEACOCK

(Ryerson Press, hardcover, 1967; no ISBN) (out of print)

Reprinted by The Stephen Leacock Museum National Historic Site, 2005; ISBN 0-55246-589-6)(in print)

Faces of Leacock was a pioneering work - the first full-length study of Stephen Leacock's writing. The book surveys the whole range of Leacock's literary work - not only the humour, but also the literary criticism, the essays and the travel writing. What emerges is a portrait of Leacock as a powerful writer who feared and fought his own talent, a scathing satirist who believed that humour should always be kindly, a shy and sensitive artist who hid behind his own humour. And yet, the author argues, in his finest work Leacock fuses his own contradictions into a unique - and deeply Canadian - vision of life and society, a vision suffused with humour. His best books "survive and grow like tough arctic plants, in a land where growth was never easy."

CONVERSATIONS WITH CANADIAN NOVELISTS

CONVERSATIONS WITH CANADIAN NOVELISTS

(Macmillan Canada, 1971; Vol 1, ISBN 0-7705-0942-8; Vol 2, ISBN 0-7705-1008-6) (available)

In the 1960s, Canadian literature was exploding. Inspired by the famous Paris Review interviews, Donald Cameron - who was then the book columnist at Maclean's, and was not yet Silver - set out to interview both the established novelists and the brilliant newcomers, taking the pulse of Canadian fiction at a seminal moment in its development. The resulting book was published in two parts. The first volume includes Ernest Buckler, Roch Carrier, Robertson Davies, Timothy Findley, Harold Horwood, Margaret Laurence, Jack Ludwig, Hugh MacLennan, Robert Kroetsch and David Lewis Stein. The second includes George Bowering, Morley Callaghan, Dave Godfrey, W.O. Mitchell, Brian Moore, Martin Myers, Mordecai Richler, Gabrielle Roy, Thomas Raddall and Rudy Wiebe. Many of the interviews have been reprinted in various collections, and students and scholars have found the book indispensable

THE EDUCATION OF EVERETT RICHARDSON

THE EDUCATION OF EVERETT RICHARDSON: The Nova Scotia Fishermen's Strike, 1970-71

(McClelland & Stewart, 1977; ISBN0-7710-1845-2)(available)

In 1970, a band of 250 fishermen in the tiny ports of Canso, Mulgrave and Petit de Grat went on strike. They wanted a union.

Incredible as it seems, Canadian fishermen were then considered "co-adventurers" with the multi-national food companies which owned the ships they worked on. They had no right to organize, no right to bargain over pay or working conditions, no benefits, no job security. Their pay could be as little as $2.01 for a nine-day trip in the midwinter Atlantic. But when the fishermen struck for the right to unionize, they found themselves bitterly opposed not only by the companies, but also by the provincial and federal governments, the justice system, the media, the churches and even the establishment within the labour movement itself.

SEASONS IN THE RAIN

SEASONS IN THE RAIN: An Expatriate's Notes on British Columbia

(McClelland & Stewart, 1978; ISBN 0-7710-1847-9) (available)

Silver Donald Cameron was raised and educated in British Columbia, but left the province permanently in 1964. Seasons in the Rain is a collection of essays and profiles he wrote during the 1970s, when he returned to write a profile of union leader Homer Stevens and discovered that he had "an interesting view of the West Coast. I knew it deeply, but by now I saw it also from an outsider's perspective." His profile of Stevens - which is included here - was followed by a series of profiles of some notable British Columbians: actor Bruno Gerussi, cartoonist Len Norris, authors George Woodcock and Hubert Evans, cruising sailors Miles and Beryl Smeeton, ethnologist Ida Halpern, publisher David Hancock, philosopher Donald Brown. But he also wrote about the not-so-famous: school-bus driver Alvin Fisher, greengrocer Yat Hang Mew, Dutch resistance fighter Hendrik Dykstra; and the young Doukhobors that Cameron had taught in the late 1950s, when the children were interned ina camp by the BC government.

THE BAITCHOPPER

THE BAITCHOPPER

(James Lorimer, 1982; ISBN 088862-599-5 cloth; 088862-598-5 paper)(some cloth copies available)

The Baitchopper is a young adult novel set in fishing village during a bitter strike which, not coincidentally, much resembles the strike described in The Education of Everett Richardson. Andrew Gurney knows his father is involved in a fight for a fishermen's union, but such grown-up problems have little place in his 13-year-old world - until a street battle with kids from the other side makes him realize that his father's battle has also become his own. Andrew has no idea how dangerous the situation is - until someone deliberately cuts his father's boat adrift, and Andrew finds himself at sea in a snowstorm, struggling desperately to stay alive and to save the Dolly C, the boat his family depends on.

DRAGON LADY

DRAGON LADY

(McClelland & Stewart, 1980; ISBN 07710-1833-9)(out of print)

(Paperback edition, Seal books, 1981; ISBN 0-7704-1654-3)(available)

Dragon Lady is a thriller, praised by Farley Mowat as "a stunning combination of a first-rate modern adventure yarn and damned good writing. Furthermore it has the authentic smell of the North Atlantic and the feel of a Nova Scotia too few of us know." A light plane disappears in the fog off the Nova Scotia coast, and the pilot's brother tries to learn what happened to it. But as Peter Landry pursues the truth, a web of treason and terror closes around him. His quest takes him to the waterfront of New York and then back to Nova Scotia, where an intoxicating woman joins him aboard his small schooner as he scours the coast searching for the truth about his brother. But he is hardly prepared for what he finds.

SCHOONER: BLUENOSE AND BLUENOSE II

SCHOONER: BLUENOSE AND BLUENOSE II

McClelland & Stewart, 1984; ISBN 0-7704-1861-9) (available)

(Updated and reissued as Once Upon a Schooner: An Offshore Voyage in Bluenose II (Formac, 1992; ISBN 0-88780-225-7) (out of print)

Schooner represents a unique approach to writing history. Bluenose is the ship on the Canadian dime, the Nova Scotia fishing schooner which won the international fishermen's races in 1921 -- the year she was launched -- and held the trophy until the races ended in 1938. Bluenose II is "Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador," an exact replica, launched in 1963 and still sailing. In 1983, Silver Donald Cameron signed up as an ordinary seaman and sailed on Bluenose II from Lunenburg to Atlantic City, NJ. The exciting history of the two schooners emerges from his experiences and conversations at sea during that voyage. 

WIND, WHALES AND WHISKY

WIND, WHALES AND WHISKY

(Macmillan Canada, 1991; ISBN 07715-9138-1)(available in paperback)

In the summer of 1990, Silver Donald Cameron set sail with his late wife Lulu and their 12-year-old son Mark Patrick in their engineless 27-foot cutter Silversark for a voyage of discovery: a circumnavigation of Cape Breton Island. This account of their voyage is a unique opportunity to meet the extraordinary inhabitants of Cape Breton. Sail with them as they cruise Cape Breton's majestic coast and its fabulous inland sea, the Bras d'Or Lakes. Each landfall sparks a story.

SNIFFING THE COAST

SNIFFING THE COAST

(Macmillan Canada, 1993; ISBN0-7715-9014-8) (Artemesia House, 2007 ISBN 978-1-55246-641-1)

"Lloyd Bourinot used to talk about 'sniffing the coast,' but I had never seen it done before. Down-east skippers, groping through the fog, used every piece of evidence to confirm their position - the character of the seaweed, the directions the birds flew, the smell of fish plants and spruce woods, of smokestacks and hayfields and guano. If you smelt chocolate in Halifax Harbour, you were near the Moir's factory on Duke Street."

The summer of 1992 was foggy, cold and calm. As Silver Donald and his late wife Lulu (who died in 1996) made a 600-mile voyage in the Gulf of St. Lawrence aboard their engineless cutter Silversark, they used every trick they knew - including sniffing the coast.

STERLING SILVER

STERLING SILVER

(Breton Books, 1994; ISBN 1-895415-38-1)(in print) Edited by Ronald Caplan

Sterling Silver is a marvellous selection of short stories, essays and reports, drawn from over 25 years of Silver Donald Cameron's writing. Like visits with an entertaining and deeply committed friend, Sterling Silver takes on suicide and love, fear and community and craftsmanship - and a Canada in which a good life should still be possible. Cameron has won National Magazine Awards for travel writing, agricultural reporting, service journalism and cultural journalism, and this selection demonstrates the extraordinary range of his subjects. It's also full of fun.