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A Splinter in the Heart
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A Splinter in the Heart

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  26 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Al Purdy’s only novel, A Splinter in the Heart, is an unforgettable coming-of-age story that unfolds against the real-life tragedy of what came to be known as the Trenton Disaster. Set in 1918, it tells the story of sixteen-year-old Patrick Cameron and the events that will change him – and the Ontario town in which he lives – forever. Over the course of one summer and fall ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 16th 2000 by Emblem Editions (first published September 1st 1990)
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I met Al Purdy when I was in my last year of high school, not long before he died. Hearing him read some of his poetry, and speak about the craft of writing had a tremendous influence on me. A Splinter in the Heart, his only novel, draws from many of the same themes and images common to his poetry, but in a different form. I wish he had written more novels!
The novel has a very slow lead up to its explosive climax, but the height of the action is intimately connected with the rest.
Patrick Cameron is a lovely protagonist: intensely thoughtful, yet inarticulate in important ways, good but always scrutinizing himself. It was always a little jarring when the narrative perspective shifted away from him. He reminded me of a friend from high school, and I can picture the kind of student I will recommend this book to.
The Trenton Disaster, which I had nev
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Alfred Wellington Purdy was one of the most popular and important Canadian poets of the 20th century. Purdy's writing career spanned more than fifty years. His works include over thirty books of poetry; a novel; two volumes of memoirs and four books of correspondence. He has been called the nation's "unofficial poet laureate".

Born in Wooler, Ontario Purdy went to Albert College in Belleville, Onta
More about Al Purdy...
Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets: Selected Poems 1962-1996 Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy Poems for all the Annettes The Al Purdy a Frame Anthology The Collected Poems of Al Purdy

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