Wrecked Upon This Shore

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Wrecked Upon This Shore

Wrecked Upon This Shore
Killick Press
6 x 9
ISBN 13:
# of pages:
197 pages
Our Price
$ 19.95

Item Detail

  1. Overview
  2. About the Author
  3. Testimonials
  4. Excerpt
  • Overview

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    Wrecked Upon This Shore deals with life’s most significant tests: loving and dying, broken relationships, the drive to heal and the impulse to be whole.


    At the novel’s centre is Pearl: wild, charismatic, and damaged.  We follow her through the eyes of her adult son Stephen, and also from the viewpoint of Mouse, the girl she fell in love with as a teenager.  Thirty years old when Pearl is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Stephen is in danger of foundering.  Pearl’s cancer becomes a crucible with the power not only to destroy but also to re-forge relationships.

  • About the Author

    Kate Story is a writer and performer.  A Newfoundlander, she lives in Peterborough, Ontario.  Her first novel Blasted received honourable mention from the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, and was longlisted for the ReLit Awards; she has been twice nominated for the Ontario Arts Council’s K.M. Hunter Artist Award. Wrecked Upon This Shore is her second novel.

  • Testimonials

    I fell in love with these characters: saintly and monstrous, wrecked but not lost —castaways all. Kate Story is one of those rare writers who can plumb the darkness and retrieve from the depths a jewel, a truth, luminous and redemptive. A magical and moving novel. Prepare to be transported.

    Jessica Grant, author of Come, Thou Tortoise


    Told with intelligence and tenderness, Wrecked Upon This Shore explores a son’s compassion for a dying mother who was far from perfect.  It’s less about what happened than about how to live with the aftermath.  Kate Story brings a mature, passionate, compelling voice to the modern family dynamic.

    Robin McGrath, author of the award-winning novel The Winterhouse


  • Excerpt

    Pearl’s head is drooping; is she embarrassed? 

    Stephen’s heart is hammering so fast he puts his hand on his chest. 

    “Look,” she says,  “I really need a smoke to do this.”

    He commandeers a wheelchair from the nurses’ station, adrenaline running through him like wine.  His mother is sitting on the edge of the bed when he returns, dressing gown cinched around her waist.  He’s never wheeled anyone in a chair before.  One of the brakes is down, and they go in tight circles.  At last they get into the hallway and down to the doors.  No one else there, thank God.  Pearl takes her time lighting a smoke, and he shuffles from foot to foot. 

    “This is a little surreal.”

    She draws in a lungful of smoke.  “Thing is, I can’t remember his name.”


    “Well, I’m sorry.  I’ve been trying.”

    Stephen stares.  “You don’t know his name.”

    “I was eighteen.”  She shifts in the chair.  “Do you remember the name of everyone you’ve ever slept with?”

    He thinks.  “As a matter of fact I do.”

    “Oh, come on.”

    “I do!  God, Mom – ”

    “Thing is, I used to give people nicknames.”  She lets smoke pour out of her nose.  “So I called him Randy.  But that was a joke…”

    He begins pounding his forehead gently against the brick wall.

    “So I’d bet his real name began with an R,” his mother’s voice comes faintly.  “Robert, maybe.  Or Richard.  Except then I’d have called him Dick.”  She starts giggling, but stops when he looks at her.

    “A last name?”

    Pearl smokes, squinting, he thinks, like Clint Eastwood.  “Are you wanting to look this guy up?”

    “I don’t fucking know!”  He loses it.  “But it’d be nice to have the fucking option, you know?”

    She stares him down.  “Well, I’m sorry.  I am.”

    He rubs his forehead.  “Do you remember where he was from?”

    “Well, we hooked up near the Thousand Islands.  Gananoque.  But he wasn’t from there.  He’d come up for the summer, and, well, dealt pot.”  She looks at the end of her cigarette like she’s trying to remember something.  “He was tall.  And he had brown hair.”

    “I have brown hair.”


    “I’m not very fucking goddamn tall, though, am I.”

    “Really,” Pearl says, “you look a lot like me.”  She tosses her cigarette, a tiny flare.  “I never saw much of anything else in you.”

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We acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF), and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador through the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation for our publisihng program.

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