Version française

September 2014

Je suis bien content d’apprendre que la version française du livre sur les Mi’kmaq de l’île-de-Prince-Édouard sera bientôt disponible. La maison d’édition est La Grande Marée de Tracadie-Sheila au Nouveau-Brunswick. Le lancement est à temps pour l’ouverture le 10 octobre de l’exposition du même nom au Musée canadien de l’Histoire à Gatineau, Québec.

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Writing

August 2014

Following my recent visit to Isle Madame, where I had several good conversations about Thomas, A Secret Life and The Maze — and the novels yet to come to complete the quartet — I find myself once again mulling over why I have moved from a long career of writing history over the divide into fiction. The shortest answer seems to be writing is how I figure out the world. That’s writing of any and every kind. When it was history, writing about the research I had carried out was how I came to find out as precisely as I could what all the data and stories meant. But all along I knew it was an exterior understanding with obvious limitations, depending on the sources available. With fiction, I aspire to be inside the characters and with them in all the settings they explore. History versus fiction, outside versus inside: I don’t claim one to be superior to the other, but it’s through the writing that I continue to make sense of the world.

I have posted a few photos taken during my brief Isle Madame sojourn on Facebook at A J B Johnston, Writer.

Boston

July 2014

I was recently back in Boston for the first time in many years, and this time in the company of my two sons. Yes, watching the Red Sox at Fenway Park was the main reason for the trip. And sitting there watching baseball in such a great setting, rekindled affection I used to have for the game when I was a kid. Aside from the Sox, we also enjoyed the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum, North Boston, Newbury Street, Fanueil Hall / Quincy Market, Beacon Hill and Louisburg Square. I’ve posted a few photos, with more to come, on my Facebook site (A J B Johnston, Writer). It functions as the Visual Archives to go along with this web site.

The Maze … selected

July 2014

Halifax Magazine has selected The Maze as one of its Summer Books. I’m delighted to see it included among many other great East Coast writers’ books.
http://halifaxmag.com/cover/summer-reading-guide/

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Friends … of a sort

July 2014

It has dawned on me recently that I spend more time with the fictional characters I write about than almost everyone who lives in the real world. Sometimes those characters disappoint with the things they do, but I don’t hold that against any of them. They are who they are, for better or worse. Now that I’m in the third of what will be four Thomas Pichon novels, I’m getting wistful about some of these friends, because I’m soon going to have to say goodbye to a few of them. On the other hand, there are new friends/characters coming along to take their place.

First Reviews of The Maze

June 2014

Paul Bennett offers his assessment of my second novel — along with a few comments on Thomas, A Secret Life — in the Chronicle Herald of 14 June 2014.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/books/1214647-the-roots-of-a-notorious-spy

A few extracts from that review are also highlighted on the CBU Press web site.

http://cbup.ca/blog/flair-authenticity-review-maze/

And then Halifax Magazine, in its Summer Reading Guide of July 2014, gave a most positive assessment. Among other things, the magazine thinks I am “… able to blend fact and fiction with ease, throwing in a dash of drama, romance and adventure for good measure.” The full text, as well as reviews of other Atlantic Canada books can be found at:

http://halifaxmag.com/cover/summer-reading-guide/