The Silence on the Shore

Overview

Originally published in 1962, The Silence on the Shore is considered by many critics to be Hugh Garners best, most ambitious novel. Truly, in the person of Grace Hill, the landlady of the Toronto rooming house where most of the books events take place, Garner has created a fictional character never to be forgotten. Grace is a middle-aged snoop and an overweight nudist whose sexual release comes from watching wrestling matches at a hockey arena that is a thinly disguised Maple Leaf Gardens.

Around Grace orbit her various boarders: alcoholic Gordon Lightfoot; Walter Fowler, an aspiring writer whose marriage has just broken up; Aline Garfield, a fundamentalist Christian grappling with various urges and torments; a Polish refugee woman; and a colourful cast of others whose lives intersect in drama that arises from arbitrary or coincidental encounters.

According to scholar John Moss, the book is the best realistic novel of Canadian city life yet to be written.

About the Authors

Hugh Garner

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Hugh Garner

Hugh Garner (1913–1979) immigrated to Canada in 1919, settling in Toronto. His most famous novel is Cabbagetown, released in its entirety in 1968. In 1963 he won the Governor General's Award for Hugh Garner's Best Stories.

George Fetherling

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
George Fetherling photo

George Fetherling

George Fetherling is a poet, fiction writer, and voyager. Among his many books are Travels by Night: A Memoir of the Sixties and Running Away to Sea: Round the World on a Tramp Freighter. He published under the name Douglas Fetherling until 1999, and thereafter under the name George in honour of his late father. He lives in Vancouver.