Category: Biography & Autobiography; History - Canada
Publisher: Canada: Knopf 1999
U.S: Doubleday 2000
Britain: Anchor Books 2000
Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pgs.
On Sale Date: September 2000
Best seller in Canada and the Netherlands.
Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction 2000.
University of British Columbia Gold Medal Prize for non-fiction
Book of the Month Club selection.
Baltimore's Mansion introduces us to the Johnstons of Ferryland, a Catholic colony founded by Lord Baltimore in the 1620s on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, and centres on three generations of fathers and sons. Filled with heart-stopping description and a cast of stubborn, acerbic, yet utterly irresistible family members, it is an evocation of a time and a place reminiscent of Wayne Johnston's best fiction.
Also available in Germany as das Land meiner Vater (Hoffman and Campe 2003)
Available in the Netherlands as Het huis van Baltimire (de Geus 2002)
"Baltimore's Mansion is an absorbing evocation of time and place, elegantly and passionately written. In this memoir, a multi-generational story of a Newfoundland family born to the hardships of life on the eastern Avalon peninsular, Wayne Johnston holds the very idea of what does and what does not constitute a country up to a clear, remarkable light. Baltimore's Mansion speaks eloquently about the loss of a way of life, and of many Newfoundlanders' failed, if not doomed, dreams of nationhood. It holds the reader's imagination with fabulous and beautifully wrought descriptions, with moments of high comedy and great poignance and, most importantly, with the magic of Johnston's storytelling."
-- Charles Taylor Prize Committee
"A prodigiously talented author...Baltimore's Mansion ought to win a wide readership, especially among those of us grasping after the meaning of our own fathers' livers."
-- The Globe and Mail (A best book of 1999)
"Incredibly moving, deeply personal and often hilarious."
-- The Toronto Star
"A masterpiece of creative non-fiction...A work of astonishing beauty and power [that] instantly raises the bar for writers of Canadian non-fiction."
-- National Post
"Much more than a memoir, it is a non-fiction novel...a work of astonishing beauty and power."
-- National Post
"A beautiful, heartfelt, funny and engrossing book...Teems with exquisitely drawn pictures of a singular, pungent world before, during and after irreversible change, and through them weaves a delicate rendering of the often difficult love among three generations of fathers and sons."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"Family stories bound together with the skill of a consummate storyteller."
-- The Times (London)
"Eloquent, soulful...A memoir that transubstantiates the past into truth."
-- The Washington Post