The past twenty-five years have witnessed the flowering of a Newfoundland literature that has had a significant presence on the national and international stage. The place and its people have featured in the work of writers such as Annie Proulx, Wayne Johnston and Lisa Moore, all of whom have been published to acclaim in countries around the world. The emergence of a significant body of fiction in which Newfoundland’s culture and history figures prominently has done much to influence the image of Newfoundland that people from the province and in the outside world “see.” And it has also raised niggling questions about the use of history and real-life figures to animate fictional stories. Is there a limit to the liberties a writer can take with the real world? Is there a point at which a fictionalization of history becomes a falsification of history? What responsibilities do writers have to their readers, and to the historical and cultural materials they exploit as sources?
Using Newfoundland and its recent literature as a case study, and drawing on Michael Crummey’s own experience appropriating historical characters to fictional ends, “Most of What Follows is True” is an examination of the complex relationship between fact and fiction, between the “real world” and the stories we tell to explain the world to ourselves.
Date: April 12, 2021
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: The Timms Centre for the Arts (87th Avenue and 112th Street NW, University of Alberta campus)
Price: Pay What You Can