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Wild Apples

Goose Lane Editions


There is a dreamlike quality to many of the stories in this new collection from Wayne Curtis. In Wild Apples, he returns to familiar themes of love and longing, and the push-pull emotions which inevitably accompany any attempt to break free of the ties that bind. Simple pleasures abound in these evocative stories, be it fishing on the river, gathering beans for an evening supper (are they beans or has-beens?), or listening to the jukebox at the local diner. Curtis mines the shaft of everyday experiences, turning each one into a meditation on human nature. In the title story, an afternoon drive yields fertile ground as a father and son stop to shake down a gnarled crab apple tree for the sweet-sour orbs of autumn. With a seemingly effortless style, he casts his line into the river of the past, reeling in tales of youthful folly, the Christmastime birth of a little sister, and life on the Miramichi River, which could be any river, anywhere. Curtis also shares his insight into well-known friends, including novelist David Adams Richards and Yvon Durelle, the Fighting Fisherman. His contemplation of the life and work of Robert Frost casts a fresh light on the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.

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"Happy picking."

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"Wild Apples is a volume mixed with appropriate portions of nostalgia, memory, and love for a time that will never return."

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Wayne Curtis (b. 1945) divides his time between Newcastle, New Brunswick, and Fredericton. He is the author of several books of essays about fishing, fishermen and the Miramichi River, two story collections, Preferred Lies (Nimbus, 1998) and River Stories (Nimbus, 2000), and two novels, One Indian Summer (Goose Lane, 1994), the source of "Heavy Ice," and Last Stand (Nimbus, 1999).

 
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Fishing the High Country

Goose Lane Editions


The timeless story of an always-moving river.

From the first sentence, "I come from a long line of river people," to the last, "Bad luck to kill a moose bird," Wayne Curtis signals that this book occupies the territory of a classic, a lyrical memoir of a river and those who submit to its call.

New Brunswick's Miramichi River is one of the most entrancing salmon rivers in the world. In Fishing the High Country, Curtis has created what can only be described as a river masterpiece, a lyrical record of time and place, of those who are drawn to its side and those who cast their lines into its waters.

Drawing on his experience of life along the river — as a boy, as a young man, and as a river guide among guides, Wayne Curtis crafts the compelling memoir of this place, a high country where he spins his tales, casts his flies, and fishes the river and woods for his stories. The Miramichi vibrates in Curtis's bones. His cast of characters are earthy, whimsical, and wise. His eye for the telling detail and his rooted understanding of lives lived humbly will captivate readers with its near mystical blend of the mysteries of fly fishing and the affections of the heart.

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"This gripping and beautiful book takes us deep into the forests and river valleys of one of our finest backwoods cultures. One trip to the Miramichi and you'll never forget its people and places. If you haven't stood alongside that river, Wayne Curtis's wise and gentle writing will make you want to go."

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"What a joy this book is, full of affection for and a wise reflection on the river people, their angling guests, and the waters they shared in New Brunswick's high country, which Curtis has made his own. 'I can feel every word the great river laid upon us,' he writes and, in this memoir, Curtis gives us back those deep and shining words as a great and lasting gift."

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"A story of love and passion. Wayne Curtis led me through rivers and people of memory, stirring strong sentiments in every chapter. This is a book for angling addicts who cast lines on any patch of water in reality and in dreams. It will be my go-to book any time I need my angling emotions stroked."

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Wayne Curtis was born in Keenan, New Brunswick, on the banks of the Miramichi River. He was educated at the local schoolhouse and at St. Thomas University. He started writing prose in the late 1960s. His essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Outdoor Canada, Fly Fishermen, and the Atlantic Salmon Journal.

 
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Of Earthly and River Things

Goose Lane Editions


"One could do worse than to grow up on a river." In his new collection of essays, Wayne Curtis voyages back through the tributaries of his past, throwing a pastoral net over the backwaters of his childhood to ensnare the sepia-tinged moments of love, loss, and life lessons he gleaned through his rise to maturity on the waterways of New Brunswick. As Proust recalled his past through the delicate taste of a madeleine, so, too, Curtis ruminates on growing up on the Miramichi, albeit through the more uniquely Canadian flavour of the home-cooked doughnut. Curtis writes of the simple pleasures of fishing with friends, of one's first unforgettable kiss, and of a father who teased his children that "all dreams that were told before breakfast had a better chance of becoming real." Of Earthly and River Things is at once a nostalgic trek through history and elegy for a vanishing culture, a world where its people were grateful to the river for its bounty.

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"Wayne Curtis is one of our very best writers!"

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"Set on the greatest river in the East, this memoir's bright run of prose dives deeply, rises, and leaps lyrically through these pages like the innocent days and magnificent fish it memorializes. It is a masterwork grounded in the love of earth and water, family and community, youth and age, dream and reality, by one of our finest writers, ‘the speaking soul of the river.’ "

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"Poetic prose and microscopic detail combined with thoughtful reflection and vivid storytelling makes Of Earthly and River Things a celebration and hymn of praise. Curtis is a romantic in the best sense. He evokes a gentler past and offers us a refreshing immersion into a life lived deeply connected to the land, the cycles of nature, and currents of a river."

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Wayne Curtis (b. 1945) divides his time between Newcastle, New Brunswick, and Fredericton. He is the author of several books of essays about fishing, fishermen and the Miramichi River, two story collections, Preferred Lies (Nimbus, 1998) and River Stories (Nimbus, 2000), and two novels, One Indian Summer (Goose Lane, 1994), the source of "Heavy Ice," and Last Stand (Nimbus, 1999).

 
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