CanLit trifecta gives Crummey some payback

I think Michael Crummey’s last book, Sweetland, was probably his best. It was a genius reversal on the tropes of the very popular Galore. Where Galore started in the past with magic realism and evolved over the time of the novel to a more and more modern sensibility, Sweetland did the opposite. Where Galore followed an entire community of families, Sweetland followed one guy. I can only imagine how difficult it is to write a book with one character mostly alone and still make it riveting like that. Anyway, the book was unfairly (to my mind) overlooked. I haven’t read The Innocents yet, but I’m glad it’s getting this level of attention: Giller Shortlist, Writers Trust Shortlist, Governor General’s Award Shortlist. Sort of the Triple Crown of Canlit. Also of note is the poetry shortlist which has some exciting names in there, including Gwen Benaway and Julie Bruck.

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