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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Heather T. Smith Recommends

Inside by Kenneth J. Harvey

Inside (2007)

(From Penguin Random House Canada)

A taut, masterful novel of friends and enemies, family and fate, and the relative nature of freedom.

When Myrden returns to his tough St. John’s neighbourhood after fourteen years in prison, he is swarmed by old friends and enemies, and a wife who hasn’t exactly been waiting for him. A cruel twist of fate has made Myrden famous: any wrongfully accused man released after such a lengthy incarceration is soon to be rich.

He clings to his young granddaughter and an old love, hoping his coming settlement can free them from the cycles of revenge and failure that have marked his life. But old scores are not so easily left unsettled.

Written in abrupt prose that brilliantly reflects Myrden’s cautious evaluation of everyone and everything in the overwhelming outside world, Inside pulls the reader forward with the quiet, creeping gravity of Greek tragedy. It is a story about the best kind of friend, the life a man can’t believe he deserves and the value of trying, no matter how doomed he seems to fail, to bring hope into the lives of those still worth loving.

Kenneth J. Harvey

(From Penguin Random House Canada)

Kenneth J. Harvey’s books are published in the US, the UK, Russia, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Japan. His novel The Town That Forgot How to Breathe (Raincoast) garnered raves and will appear this fall in the US from St. Martin’s Press. In Canada, it won the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Harvey’s works have also been nominated for the Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. He lives with his family in a Newfoundland outport.