Shelf Control#3: The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

Shelf Control is a weekly book meme @ Bookshelf Fantasies in which we write about one book that we want to read and already own. Read our hostess Lisa’s choice for this week over here.

My choice for this week:

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is a novel by Wayne Johnston, published on September 30, 1998. Johnston’s breakthrough work, the novel was a Canadian bestseller, and was shortlisted for the 1998 Giller Prize and the 1998 Governor General’s Award for English fiction.

A work of historical fiction, the novel presents a fictionalized portrayal of real-life Newfoundland politician Joey Smallwood, the political leader who brought the province into Canadian Confederation in 1949. A major literary device in the novel is the intertwining of his life, since childhood, with (fictional) journalist Sheilagh Fielding. (from Wikipedia)

I have little idea about Canadian history or geography and picked up the book basically because of its poetical title. This is what the author himself says about the title:

It evokes the nostalgia Newfoundlanders have felt for the possibilities of the island, and that they still have for the future. Joe is always searching for something commensurate with the greatness of the land itself, but he can’t find it, and it’s driving him mad…Newfoundland is that kind of place. It makes you want to live up to the landscape, but on the other hand it offers you no resources to do so. There’s always this constant yearning that at least for my part helped me to start writing.


Have you read the novel? Would you want to read it? Share your views.

4 thoughts on “Shelf Control#3: The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

  1. My husband had this book, then passed it on to me without reading. Later I decided to discard it because it was too long. Reading the description now, I sort of regret that, but I can’t read everything. (I know the history of the book in my house because I catalog my books. Otherwise… I would not remember.)


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