Tag Archives: expedition

Always More Stories to Tell: Q&A with ‘Landfalls’ Author Naomi J. Williams

Naomi J. Williams’s first novel, Landfalls (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 336 pages), follows the Lapérouse expedition, whose two ships and nearly two hundred sailors left France in 1785 on a global trek to explore and fraternize in the name of science, God, and country. Although they never made it back, vanishing in the Pacific several years later, firsthand accounts and historical scholarship of the voyage remain. From the available facts, Williams has fashioned a smart, surprisingly hilarious, unusual, and moving story less concerned with maritime adventure—although Landfalls is an exciting and enjoyable read—than with carefully imagined dynamics of petty squabbles …Continue reading

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A Haunting in Houndstitch: ‘Inukshuk’ by Gregory Spatz

Despite the presence of rotting teeth, oozing sores and cannibalism, Gregory Spatz’s novel Inukshuk (Bellevue Literary Press, 192 pages), which charts the struggles of an emotionally disjointed family, is much more haunting than horrific. Exploring the gradual breakdown of a family abandoned, it’s a strange, hallucinatory tale of loss that still manages to keep itself grounded in the real world. Uprooting his teenage son Thomas to the small Canadian oil town of Houndstitch after he is left by his wife, John Franklin must battle his own demons while also dealing with Thomas’s concerning obsession with explorer Sir John Franklin’s doomed …Continue reading

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