Book Details

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Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction

Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year

J.W. Dafoe Book Prize

Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction)

About the Book

Winner of the Dartmouth Book Award and a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year

Finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, the J.W. Dafoe Book Prize, and the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

National Bestseller

The events of the horrific Halifax explosion are well documented: on December 6, 1917, the French munitions ship Mont Blanc and the Belgian relief ship Imo collide in the Halifax harbour. Nearly 2,000 people are killed; over 9,000 more are injured. The story of one of the world’s worst non-natural disasters has been told before, but never like this.

In a sweeping narrative, Curse of the Narrows tells a tale of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation, retracing the steps of survivors through the wreckage of a city destroyed, told by an author who grew up in Halifax, and whose grandmother survived the explosion.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“A powerful moving book . . . the definitive account of Halifax Explosion, written with elegance and authority.” —Charlotte Gray, The Globe and Mail

“Reading Curse of the Narrows is not unlike following coverage of Hurricane Katrina: the account of the initial disaster holds us riveted . . . there is a present-day resonance to all parts of this tale.” —The New York Times

“The most complete account of the disaster so far. A very engaging history.” —Edmonton Journal

“Meticulously crafted, perfectly assembled . . . . Laura M. Mac Donald is a genius of a researcher and a demon of a writer, and the achievement of her marvelous book will last for as long as our memory of this most terrible event.” —Simon Winchester, author of Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883

“A rich and engrossing read that brings to life not only the spectacular and tragic event, but an entire world that was also shifting, transforming, and, yes, exploding.” —Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of Fall on Your Knees

“Powerful writing and even more tripping reading . . . . A first-rate page turner.” —Stephen Kimber, author of Sailors, Slackers, and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780006394891
  • ISBN 10: 0006394892
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 09/05/2006
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price: 21.95 CAD
  • BISAC1: HISTORY / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)

Curse Of The Narrows by Laura Mac Donald

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