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Lisa Moore Wednesday 7 May 2014 at the Charles W. Stockey Centre


It is often said about Irish writers that there must be something in the water – and the more I have come to know writers and musicians from Newfoundland I’d say the same about Newfoundlanders. They have grown up in homes with a rich culture of music and storytelling and have absorbed it from their earliest days. Those who have the talent and perseverance to become writers and musicians have a wealth of story to make their own.

Lisa Moore

I first met Lisa Moore when she came to Parry Sound to read from her novel February in 2010. She stayed with us, we got along well and have stayed in touch since then. February won the Canada Reads competition last year and readers across the country who were not previously familiar with her work are all reading February.

When Caught was published last year I knew I wanted Lisa Moore to come back to Parry Sound to read to us again.

Lisa Moore was recently awarded The Writers' Trust Engel Findley Award “given to a mid-career writer in recognition of a remarkable body of work, and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian literature. Writers are judged on their body of work – no less than three works of literary merit which are predominantly fiction – rather than a single book. All Canadian writers are considered and no age or gender restrictions apply.” For a writer as accomplished as Lisa Moore this is not only a financial award but confirmation that she is judged by her peers to be producing work of importance.

Caught is, again, a stellar novel – but so very different from February. It is the mark of a very fine writer that she can write two so completely different sorts of novels, both in style and content, and still bring us characters that become so very real.

We come to very much care about Slaney, a young man on the run desperate not to be caught and returned to prison. It was while attending Memorial University in Newfoundland that Slaney and his friend Hearn cook up a plan to get rich. Just bring a boatload of Marijuana in from Columbia, make a million dollars, and they’ll be set for life. Sounds too easy – and of course it is. They are caught and it is Slaney who does the time.

Case solved – well, perhaps not. There are questions never quite answered to the satisfaction of the police. As Slaney makes his way across the country we learn about his past, the woman he loved and loves still although she did not wait for him.

Really, Slaney is a good guy, one who honestly cares for other people and helps those in need. He mostly trusts others – although his instinct not to trust occasionally, almost, comes to his rescue. The story is all so plausible, you just want it all to work out for this guy – even as you ask yourself how such a smart guy could sometimes be so stupid.

Lisa Moore is not only a writer but also a painter and a playwright and one of the most alive people I know. There is such an integrity and intensity about everything she does from writing to cooking to conversation – she lives in the moment with an inspiring enthusiasm for life. I could picture her careening across the country with Slaney – ready for the next wave that life throws at them.

I am so pleased that she has washed up on the shores of Georgian Bay and will be at the Charles W. Stockey Centre to read to us from her novel Caught on Wednesday 7 May at 7:30 pm. Come along for the ride!




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