by Ian MacQuarrie, illustrated by John Burden
Non-Fiction, 90 Pages printed b/w, soft cover
The Bonshaw Hills is a collection of 25 stories, anecdotes, reflections and observations about rural Prince Edward Island, written by Ian MacQuarrie who has an ear for the vernacular and an eye for the extraordinary in everyday life. MacQuarrie, now retired as a biology professor, grew up in the Bonshaw Hills and lives there still.
“This series of sketches,” he writes, “grew out of my wish to write about the human and natural history of this central area of my life. I had hoped to play the dispassionate scientific observer, but I found that memories of my childhood on the farm, and tales told in the country store, were insisting on equal place with the foxes and ravens, the spruce, the hemlock and twin-flower of the hills. Perhaps this is proper, for Prince Edward Island has a landscape shaped as much by human as glaciers; we are all immigrants here at different times.”
Island artist John Burden spent days roaming the Bonshaw hills with MacQuarrie and together, their collaborating in this book makes a unique contribution to Canadian literaiture
“… MacQuarrie weaves together memory and myth, science and weird humor, love of the land and its creatures, and a sense of the profoundly spooky.… [MacQuarrie] has come up with a superb piece of writing.… It disproves my theory that all science professors are rotten writers.… I’ll forgive him this time, but if he does it again, I’ll just have to become a biology Professor.”
Harry Bruce, The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, November 4, 1989
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