Michael Crummey on The Innocents
2019 FinalistAtwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
for The Innocents
"In this cruel and beautiful adventure tale and meditation on survival, solitude, and adolescent desire, The Innocents lays bare the lives of two children orphaned in a desolate cove on Newfoundland’s northern coast. By turns touching and harrowing in its portrayal of siblings trapped in a pitiless struggle against human nature and nature itself, this novel is a page-turning masterclass in landscape writing and the longings and sorrows of the human heart. Crummey’s fine ear for the vernacular and the poetic casts a preternatural beauty over this terrifying world that lingers long after the story has ended."
— 2019 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Dennis Bock, Michael Kaan, and Suzette Mayr)
2007 WinnerWriters’ Trust Engel Findley Award
“In book after book, Michael Crummey sifts the human saga, marrying romance with the brutalities of life made by the sea or life in a company mining town or life in a lonely trapper’s cabin far from civilization. His women are rich and complex creations, creatures who lust, and feel, and struggle with loyalty, and bitterly keep their counsel. His people die with a mournful clarity, bodies washed up from the ocean or wasting in dismal hospitals or blasted in confused frontier skirmishes. Death haunts these books. But so do love and desire, the human ferment that supplies Crummey’s work with a fundamental generosity, a glowing, wistful hopefulness.”
— 2007 Timothy Findley Award Jury (Joan Barfoot, Douglas Glover, Jack Hodgins)