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/

Profile: AJBJ andThe Maze

June 2014

http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslife/1212938-tales-of-acadia-from-johnston-novel-come-alive-in-downtown-halifax

Thanks go to Elissa Barnard and the Halifax Chronicle Herald for letting its readers know that The Maze is out there, and also about related events.

Visual Archives

May 2014

Anyone interested in the background to various writing projects of mine might be interested in going to my Facebook site. It’s under A J B Johnston, Writer. I’m using it as a visual archives. It contains many more images and background material than this web site, and will change frequently as time goes by.

Ni’n na L’nu Honoured

May 2014

Jesse Francis and I, co-authors of Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island, are touched by the honors bestowed on our slim book. At the Atlantic Book Awards on May 21 it was selected as the “best Atlantic-published book” and as the winner of the best PEI non-fiction book. Back in February the book (and exhibit of the same name) received an award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation. A French translation of the book is in the works. It is to be available in October 2014.

The exhibit is on display all summer long at the Parks Canada interpretation center at Greenwich, PEI. From October 10, 2014 until February 2015 it will be at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, QC (across the river from Ottawa).

I’d like to say a little about where the content of the book comes from. Back in the 1990s I was fortunate enough to be given a three-year, cross-country, Parks Canada assignment to visit nearly every national historic site and many national parks and offer my thoughts on how Parks might do a better job of interpreting Aboriginal history at those sites and parks. My eyes were opened all along the way. Two particular people who influenced me were the late Noel Doucette (then the Chief of the Chapel Island First Nation) and Peter Christmas. The report I wrote for Parks Canada I called “Toward a New Past”. In the years that followed I became involved in many smaller (but equally important) projects among the Mi’kmaq on Cape Breton Island, on mainland Nova Scotia and on Prince Edward Island. The particular details of Jesse Francis’ story are different, yet essentially the same. There is a long list of specific people Jesse and I thank at the end of the book.