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The Cuffer Anthology, Volume III: A Selection of Short Fiction from Newfoundland and Labrador

The Cuffer Anthology, Volume III: A Selection of Short Fiction from Newfoundland and Labrador

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The Cuffer Anthology, Volume III: A Selection of Short Fiction from Newfoundland and Labrador

Lunghezza:
193 pagine
2 ore
Pubblicato:
Nov 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781771030397
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Now in its fourth year, the Cuffer Prize is sponsored by The Telegram and Creative Book Publishing. It showcases the best short fiction from Newfoundland and Labrador writers, both young and established. Entries in 2010 ran the gamut from high-end literary fiction to science fiction, humour, and even horror. The stories were then reviewed by acclaimed authors Joan Sullivan, Russell Wangersky, and Kathleen Winter. The Cuffer Anthology 2011 will showcase the best of these entries.
Pubblicato:
Nov 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781771030397
Formato:
Libro

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The Cuffer Anthology, Volume III - Breakwater Books Ltd

The Cuffer Anthology

VOLUME III

A Selection of Short Fiction

from Newfoundland and Labrador

© 2011, Pam Frampton

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the

Arts, the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF), and

the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador through the Department of

Tourism, Culture and Recreation for our publishing program.

All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyrights hereon may

be reproduced or used in any form or by any means—graphic, electronic or

mechanical—without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any

requests for photocopying, recording, taping or information storage and

retrieval systems of any part of this book shall be directed in writing to the

Canadian Reprography Collective, One Yonge Street, Suite 1900, Toronto,

Ontario M5E 1E5.

Cover design and layout by Todd Manning

Printed on acid-free paper

Published by

KILLICK PRESS

an imprint of CREATIVE BOOK PUBLISHING

a Transcontinental Inc. associated company

P.O. Box 8660, Stn. A

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador A1B 3T7

Printed in Canada by:

TRANSCONTINENTAL INC.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

    The Cuffer anthology. Volume III / edited by Pam Frampton.

ISBN 978-1-897174-78-4

    1. Short stories, Canadian (English)--Newfoundland and Labrador.

2. Canadian fiction (English)--21st century.

I. Frampton, Pam

PS8329.5.N3C843 2011      C813'.01089718      C2011-905328-4

The Cuffer Anthology

VOLUME III

A Selection of Short Fiction

from Newfoundland and Labrador

Edited by Pam Frampton

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
2011

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to The Cuffer Anthology Volume III. You’re about to embark on a voyage through the twists and turns of the talented imaginations of some very fine writers in this province.

The stories in this collection represent the best of the submissions to The Cuffer Prize 2010. They are a wonderful representation of the wealth of artistic creativity we have in Newfoundland and Labrador and they will grip you from the opening lines of Joel Thomas Hynes’ award-winning Conflict of Interest, and hold your attention till the very end.

Reading these stories was my pleasure, as was selecting and editing them for this anthology. Each year since The Cuffer Prize began, I have been struck by the common themes that tend to emerge.

The overriding motif in the stories in this year’s collection is longing — whether for the loved, the lost, a place, a time, a memory; a deep yearning can be felt in many of the stories, including the top three winners.

In Conflict of Interest, which took first place in 2010, Hynes’ protagonist laments the fact that he never got a chance to mend the rift with his rough-and-tough grandfather, whom he deeply respected.

He went to the grave insisting that I still owed him a night’s pay. No matter how often I helped mend the fences at the top of the meadow, or burnt myself to a blistered mess in the sun scraping and painting the clapboard on his house, he never let it go.

In Michael Collins’ Mrs. Wakeham, which took second place in The Cuffer Prize 2010, a woman tries to recapture the simplicity and structure of the past and is dismayed to find how much things have changed when she returns as a volunteer librarian to the school where she had once been the nurse:

At school she carried a St Christopher’s medal with her and kept a crucifix under her blouse. This was proper. There were still a few nuns and brothers teaching but most of the teachers were just ordinary people. Only one of the sisters from the old days was still there and she was retiring. It wasn’t the same, she said, since they took away her strap. Children have no respect for you if you don’t use the strap. Sometimes she said they’d soon force the Church out of schools altogether. Mrs. Wakeham always exhaled slowly at this notion.

In The Cuffer Prize 2010 third-place winner, the anguished, Do You Hear Me? Samuel Martin captures the searing pain and choking bitterness of a woman who has been left alone to raise their son after her lover commits suicide:

… God Almighty we fought till I wanted to tear your eyes out. And then — I gotta stop. I have to. I got to get up each morning and pick up the pieces of two lives you blew away with your own. You remember that from here to wherever it is you’ve gone.

But it’s not all yearning for something that can never be again. There are other ideas explored here: family relationships and romantic relationships; stubbornness and trickery; misery and terror; the settling of old scores; power shifts and wry humour. It’s the latter, in particular — our ability to laugh at ourselves — that is firmly rooted in several of the stories in this anthology.

In Martine Blue’s Fisherman’s Paint, Cecil Keeping is reluctant to change his ways, but finally has to acknowledge there’s a wider world out there than the familiar one he knows. He also begins to realize there’s a greater gap than just a generation separating him and his well-travelled daughter. When Cecil joins Nadia and her partner for dinner, he has no choice but to expand his horizons:

He doesn’t recognize anything edible but rolls. Bowls of coloured stuff litter the table. Nadia ushers everyone into their seats.

Nadia smiles at Cecil. We thought you’d like to try some of the new recipes we discovered on our trip to Europe. The yellow dish is couscous, sort of like rice, these are dolomites, and this is curried goat. Cecil looks at the food suspiciously. He goes for the goat and a roll.

These stories will reveal places in this province as you’ve never seen them before and introduce compelling and finely crafted characters. Thanks to all of the authors who submitted their work to The Cuffer Prize 2010, and congratulations to all whose work is printed here. To readers, I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I have and that they keep you coming back to The Cuffer Anthology every year for more.

Proceeds from this anthology — as well as from The Cuffer Anthology Volume I and The Cuffer Anthology Volume II, available from Creative Book Publishing — are earmarked for Literacy Newfoundland and Labrador. Remember, books always make great gifts, and this one and its predecessors are wonderful collections of formidable local writing talent.

Happy reading!

Pam Frampton

St. John’s

CUFFER PRIZE ANTHOLOGY 2010

stories

CONFLICT OF INTEREST, BY JOEL THOMAS HYNES

MRS. WAKEHAM, BY MICHAEL COLLINS

DO YOU HEAR ME?, BY SAMUEL MARTIN

FISHERMAN’S PAINT, BY MARTINE BLUE

THE SHAPE OF THINGS, BY JILLIAN BUTLER

BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC, BY KEITH COLLIER

THE LAST ISLANDER, BY MICHAEL COLLINS

DECAY, BY AL GEEHAN

THE HOUSE WITH INVISIBLE WALLS, BY JENNIFER MORGAN

ALL THAT HE SAW, BY CHAD PELLEY

ACCIDENTS, BY MICHAEL NOLAN

A POINTE OF VIEW, BY DARREN J. FANCEY

EVENING SHIFT, BY DEBORAH WHELAN

FOLK ART, BY BARBARA RIETI

HELICOPTER HEAD, BY CHAD PELLEY

HOTDOGS AND LOVE, BY TODD WALL

IN A GLASS BOTTLE, BY DANE GILL

NELL AND THE BABY GULL, BY DANA EVELY

NOBODY HOME (A SHORT STORY BASED ON TRUE EVENTS), BY BARRY MILLS

NO EASY WAY OUT, BY SAMUEL MARTIN

OF SIDNEY, BY RANDY DROVER

PIECE OF PARADISE, BY FREDERICK MILLS

PYROLYSIS, BY GAVIN SIMMS

RAPPING THE UGLY STICK, BY MARTINE BLUE

SEPTEMBER 12, 2001, BY MICHAEL NOLAN

SHATTERED, BY BARBARA RIETI

SIGNALS, BY R. BRUCE LILLY

SLEIGH BELLS, BY KEITH COLLIER

STILL LIFE, BY KELLY DUKE

THE GATE, BY MARY PIKE

THE ALLURE OF A NEWFOUNDLAND WOMAN, BY GRACE LAU

THE DEATH OF DOCTOR RUTLEDGE, BY LEO FUREY

THE PROMISED LAND, BY CHRIS CALLAHAN

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, BY GERARD COLLINS

WAY TO A WOMAN’S HEART, BY ALISON K. DYER

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

BY JOEL THOMAS HYNES

1st-place winner of The Cuffer Prize 2010

Those days my grandfather worked part-time as a night guard at the Ferryland lockup. He was up past 80 then, and had a reputation among the local drunks and hard tickets, who found themselves from time to time under his watch, for being fair and decent and discreet. It’s been said he was likely to give you a cigarette if you were stuck, and maybe even a little nip if you weren’t the rowdy type. He informed any new faces that the only reason the cops gave him the job was because there wasn’t a man on the Shore could take him in a square go. Then he’d bore you off to sleep with long-winded war stories and rants about Joey Smallwood.

I always thought it’d be a good laugh if ever I were brought in while he was on duty.

Not so.

He went to the grave insisting that I still owed him a night’s pay. No matter how often I helped mend the fences at the top of the meadow, or burnt myself to a blistered mess in the sun scraping and painting the clapboard on his house, he never let it go.

Now, I’ve been known to grumble that I was seized that night simply for standing and bleeding. But the truth, I suppose, is that I was full to the gills with Smirnoff and Valium and had descended upon the dance hall like a sudden southern squall of boot heels and dog chains and hee-haw warrior whoops.

Within minutes of my appearance outside the hall, the mad rumour spread that I’d head-butted a Trepassey girl and knocked her down on the ice and then tripped and fell on top of her and tried to kiss her.

I don’t believe it, myself, but I suppose you could say that I’m slightly biased.

I do remember slipping. I do recall a pretty face, and not having been kissed in a good way in a long time.

Next there’s a scuffle, a nasal mainland twang, then the warm bath ambiance of my forehead splitting open, and cartoon stars and thin scarlet droplets sprinkled across the snow like the first 30 seconds of a fake Pollack piece. (Days later I found out the bastard was visiting from the Miramichi and wore a gold ring as big as my eyeball. But I was quick to forgive since, oddly enough, I’d just finished reading Lives of Short Duration, and so counted myself lucky to be alive.)

When I come to again I’m propped against the side of the dance hall and my ex’s little sister is messing with my buckle and licking the blood from the corner of my eye.

Then it’s the law dogs, right on cue. I’m standing there bleeding, nursing a crimson snowball to my face, my pants undone, and the girl is suddenly as scarce as her big sister’s affections.

I’m too dazed to put up a fight.

In the back seat I get that patronizing third degree, the gloating tone, then the cop leaves me to stew while he checks the dance hall for more unsavory types. It takes me a full minute to realize that the little Plexiglas window, the one that separates the good guys from the bad guys, the back seat from the front, has been left wide open.

I can feel my legend swelling to rival my forehead as I slip my jacket off.

For a tight, cruel moment it seems that my shoulders wont fit, but I work out a method. The hips are tricky too, and I remember thinking how I won’t have to worry about knocking up anyone’s daughter anytime soon. Then it’s the boots, one at a time. Bloody hand on the handle, the heavy Crown Vic door tumbling open and I’m off like a jackrabbit across the icy parking lot, a blundering feral scramble into the surrounding woods, my good old jacket still in the back seat of the cop car.

They picked me up thumbing about an hour later, halfway between Renews and civilization. The cop stood outside the car with my jacket slung over his shoulder and asked me if I was cold enough yet. I could hear the blast of heat coming from the dash. I got in. What odds.

A long dawdling ride to the station and the cop saying how he heard I was good at literature and that I read books. He asked me if I’ve ever read Salinger. I asked him if he knew that Salinger

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