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Breakwater Books Spring 2019

By (author): Terry Doyle
Terry Doyle


Breakwater Books - St. John's



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Apr 01, 2019
$19.95 CAD


8in x 5.25 x 0.5 in | 1 gr

Page Count:

184 pages
Breakwater Books
FICTION / Short Stories
Short stories|Fiction: general and literary|Fiction: general and literary
Danuta Gleed Literary Award 2020, Short-listed Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction 2020, Short-listed Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, Fiction Category 2020, Short-listed Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards, Fiction Category 2020, Short-listed The Relit Awards 2020, Short-listed






In twelve dialed-in and exceptionally honed short stories, Terry Doyle presents an enduring assortment of characters channelled through the chain reactions of misfortune and redemption. A construction worker’s future is bound to a feckless and suspicious workmate. A young woman’s burgeoning social activism is constrained by hardship and the desperation of selling puppies online. A wedding guest recognizes a panhandler attending the reception. And a man crafts a concealed weapon with which to carry out his nightly circuit of paltry retribution. Through keen-eyed observation, and with an impressive economy of statement, Doyle conveys these characters over a backdrop of private absurdities and confusions—countering the overbearance of a post-tragic age with grit, irony, and infinitesimal signs of hope.

Terry Doyle is a writer from the Goulds, Newfoundland. Winner of the 2017 Percy Janes First Novel Award, and finalist for the 2017 NLCU Fresh Fish Award, his work has appeared in Riddle Fence, Papermill Press, and the Newfoundland Quarterly.

“Terry Doyle’s Dig holds a magnifying glass up to the everyday, revealing the secret hopes and anxieties of average people. Each character in these stories is recognisable but distinct. Much like Ryan in Keeping That, Are You?, who travels around town collecting discarded objects, Doyle gathers little scraps from people’s lives and highlights the details that make each person interesting. You can touch, taste, see, hear, and feel St. John’s in Dig. Doyle’s vision of the city is perfectly preserved in these brilliant, tightly constructed stories. From the new kid in town trying to make friends at school to the young man who is devastated to see an old pal leave for Alberta, these stories probe what it means to live and care and make mistakes alongside other human beings. I found myself thinking of each one of these characters long after I finished reading Dig. Doyle writes in sparing prose that leads the reader in one direction, only to surprise them in the conclusion, unfurling a hidden theme that becomes clear in the final few sentences. Unearthing what it means to be vulnerable and good in a world where these traits seem to be increasingly rare, these stories only appear simple. Subtle and polished, Dig showcases Doyle’s sharp talent and crafty storytelling.” - NLBA Fiction Award jury

“The stories in DIG offer assured, evocative, loving renditions of the gritty, everyday world of work and family, but are so deftly and delicately written they seem to float.” - - Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins and winner of the Guardian First Book Award

“In DIG, a man carries to work an expired safety helmet, and in his head he has one desire unknown even to himself: to break from fear and be loved, and to give love. Terry Doyle's stories are full of this surface industry and the precarious inner workings of decent people trying to be good in a society worn bare of protection.” - Michael Winter - Michael Winter

“Reading Terry Doyle's stories, I felt I had alighted on an island where familiar objects could be repurposed to new and extraordinary uses. Here is the hardware of everyday life, rendered luminous and infused with meaning. Each story is a perfect, self-contained world. Yet, as you step from one story into the next, you discover small, satisfying overlaps. Somehow, in your pocket, is an object you have carried with you from a previous story. The effect if of a beautifully coherent whole. What a gift, what a discovery, this collection is.” - Jessica Grant

“DIG introduces a cast of scavengers and survivors who get their hands dirty, literally and otherwise… each character's fears, motives and assumptions are gently wrenched from their chests when they aren't looking. Terry Doyle's subtle, perceptive, precisely attentive stories will leave you reeling.” - Matthew Hollett, author of ALBUM ROCK, Goodreads

“A very real and empathetic sense of the struggle of ongoing daily lives, not so much pivotal turning points but vignettes of the day-to-day, the celebrations, losses and loans, arguments, injuries, siblings and families – every strand that makes up the fabric of lives going quietly, deeply wrong. Doyle writes with enviable clean prose that cuts close to the bone.” - The Minerva Reader

“Terry Doyle brings a true East Coast Canada feel and understanding to his work. What may seem simplistic in his work actually makes the reader think and double-think about what his stories tell us. He is obviously a humble writer and humble man, a quality that rarely shines through in the works of many authors. Simple is not easy writing. Simple is difficult. Doyle is able to hold the attention of the reader as he tells you a story, giving you the feeling you are sitting across from him at his kitchen table. He is a writer who works within a true art form and is one to be admired.” - Danuta Gleed Literary Award Jury

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