The Colony of Unrequited Dreams


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The Colony of Unrequited Dreams , a Canadian bestseller, is a novel about Newfoundland that centres on the story of Joe Smallwood, the true-life controversial political figure who ushered the island through confederation with Canada and became its first premier. Narrated from Smallwood's perspective, it voices a deep longing on the part of the Newfoundlander to do something significant, "commensurate with the greatness of the land itself". The New York Times said, "this prodigious, eventful, character-rich book is a ...

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Nov 30, 2007

Cold Country Colonialism

Newfoundland is a Province of Canada, way out east, in the middle of the North Atlantic, a stone's throw from Ireland. Its people are eccentric and peculiar, its history similarly so. Joey Smallwood was the first Premier of Newfoundland when the rocky island joined Canada as a tenth province, rejecting independence from Britain or colonial status by popular referendum. This story should not be compelling reading, but it is. Most Americans know of Newfoundland only from Annie Proulx's "Shipping News," but here readers have an opportunity to read the "real stuff," actual Newfoundland characters put through actual historical events by a marvelous writer, in the form of a fictionalized autobiography of Joey Smallwood. Incidentally, for those interested in such things, it is also a great piece of neo- or post- colonial writing in the spirit of Naipaul, Keats, et al.

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