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Spring 2022, Breakwater Books

The Wards
By (author): Terry Doyle
Terry Doyle


Breakwater Books - St. John's



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Jun 10, 2022
Print Run: 2000
$22.95 CAD


8.5in x 5.5 x 0.8 in | 500 gr

Page Count:

240 pages
Breakwater Books Ltd
Breakwater Books
FICTION / Literary
Fiction: general and literary|Family life fiction|Narrative theme: Coming of age|Narrative theme: Love and relationships
BMO Winterset Award 2022, Long-listed NL Reads 2023, Short-listed


***2023 NL READS – FINALIST***

The Wards are a working-class Newfoundland family on the cusp of upheaval. The children are becoming adults, the adults are growing old, and the new dog was probably stolen. When a sudden illness forces the Wards together, can they finally learn to be close-knit?

This unsettling, at times hilarious novel explores the instability of nuclear families and the depths of dysfunction.

Family is family—you don’t get to choose.

So what, exactly, do you get to choose?

Terry Doyle is from the Goulds, Newfoundland. His first book, DIG, was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Fiction, the ReLit Award for Fiction, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Fiction, and the Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Award.

"St. John’s is luminous and alive in the deft, driving prose of Terry Doyle’s first novel. The Wards waltzes through the liminal spaces of the city—hospital waiting rooms, cabins in winter, office buildings at night—and weaves a riveting tapestry of grit, dust, and dysfunctional love. Its characters glimmer in a snow-spangled side mirror, fragmented and shining, closer than they appear."

- Matthew Hollett, author of Optic Nerve

"In this age of enfant terrible posturing and neo liberal platitudinal outrage, and far outside the thematic, political, conceptual, and formal concerns of The Wards—a novel, by the way, that proceeds with all the innuendo, understatement, history, tension, and outright conflict of a dysfunctional family—Terry Doyle has emerged as that most rare sort of talent in Canadian literature: an artist who writes not about the working class to be fetishized and romanticized by our economic, intellectual and cultural superiors, but rather, to the working class itself. The distinction is subtle and crucial. And The Wards, in its tender and hilarious examination of familial and brotherly love, is a crucial and heart-breaking book."

- Craig Francis Power, award-winning author of Skeet Love

"Like a match struck in the darkness, The Wards sheds a merciful light on the subtle suffering that can keep us bound together, and the seismic shifts that can set us free. Terry Doyle writes about the complex webs of feeling and family with great clarity, honesty, and tenderness."

- Amy Spurway, author of Crow

“[A] first novel, this one concerning the evocatively surnamed working-class family in present-day St. John’s. Consistently, the characters are revealed and constructed through attitudes and actions, never explicitly described. We don’t really know what they ‘look’ like, but we can see them.”

- The Telegram

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Also Available

Dig Terry Doyle 9781550817591 $19.95 CAD Apr 01, 2019

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