IMAGINATION WRITERS’ FESTIVAL: Plucky Newfoundland author discusses Rage The Night


Plucky Newfoundland author discusses Rage The Night

Shirley Nadeau

Bibliophiles were delighted to meet Donna Morrissey during the April 13 event of the Imagination Writers’ Festival. The author of eight books, including her 2021 memoir Pluck, subtitled A Memoir of a Newfoundland Childhood and the Raucous, Terrible, Amazing Journey to Becoming a Novelist, was there to talk about her most recent novel, Rage the Night.

QCT journalist Danielle Burns interviewed Morrissey before an enthusiastic group of festival-goers. Rage the Night is described as “an intimate tale of one man’s quest to discover the truth of his birth and a riveting account of a real- life Newfoundland tragedy in March 1914, when 132 sealers from the SS Newfoundland were stranded on the ice in blizzard conditions and with- out adequate shelter for two days. More than two-thirds of the men died and many of the survivors lost one or more limbs to frostbite.”

After a deathbed confession uncovers secrets of his birth, 20-year-old Roan, the main character of Rage the Night, travels across Newfoundland from the remote Northern Peninsula to St. John’s and then onto the SS Newfoundland, one of many poorly equipped ships heading out to the sealing grounds for the spring hunt. Morrissey referred to Death on the Ice, written in 1972 by Cassie Brown, which gives a detailed account of the harrowing and terrible tragedy.

Morrissey also talked about her memoir, explaining that her publisher – Penguin Random House Canada – had urged her to shorten the book’s lengthy title (now a subtitle) to just one word, and came up with the succinct Pluck. She shared deeply personal stories about her life and how she overcame difficult and tragic times to become a successful author. Born and raised in a remote community in northern Newfoundland, she now lives in Halifax.

At the end of the evening, Burns said, “Personally, I loved her memoir! I bought it twice – in audiobook form and again at the festival in hard copy. She is certainly a lovely woman with a lot of pluck….If I had to get stuck on a desert island with someone, Morrissey might be in my top 10! She’s a survivor and would have enough stories to entertain us for a long time!”

Aiden Roberts, a fellow Newfoundlander, enjoyed the event immensely, saying, “I really appreciated the evening and Danielle’s interview with Donna. It has inspired me to go back and read the book again! It is a novel that has lots of riddles, starting with the front cover. However, a close read will allow you to come up with satisfactory answers.” Roberts also wrote a review of the book that appears in the spring edition of the Morrin Centre’s Society Pages quarterly.

QCT journalist Danielle Burns interviewed author Donna Morrissey about her latest book Rage the Night during the April 13 Imagination Writers’ Festival event at the Morrin Centre. (Photo by Shirley Nadeau)

IMAGINATION WRITERS’ FESTIVAL: Plucky Newfoundland author discusses Rage The Night was last modified: April 16th, 2024 by QCT Editor

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