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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Cordelia Strube Recommends

The Luck of Ginger Coffey by Brian Moore

The Luck of Ginger Coffey (1960)

(From Penguin Random House)

“No, for wasn’t this the chance he had always wanted? Wasn’t he at long last an adventurer, a man who had gambled all on one horse, a horse coloured Canada, which now by hook or by crook would carry him to fame and fortune?”

Meet Ginger Coffey, the irrepressible fortune-hunter of Brian Moore’s award-winning novel. The Luck of Ginger Coffey is the robust, funny, sometimes tragic tale of one unforgettable Irish immigrant to Montreal. Buoyed by unfailing optimism, Ginger confronts the ugly realities of life in the New World. Jobs are scarce, people often inhuman. And dreams of glory do not offer any lasting escape from the hard pinch of poverty.

In spite of the battering he receives in his struggle for survival, Ginger Coffey emerges a true hero – the “little” man who can be defeated by anything, except life itself.

The Luck of Ginger Coffey was awarded the Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 1960 and was made into a critically acclaimed motion picture.

Brian Moore

(From Penguin Random House)

Brian Moore was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1921. He served with the Ministry of War in North Africa, Italy, and France during the Second World War. He emigrated to Canada in 1948 and worked as a newspaper reporter for the Montreal Gazette from 1948 until 1952.

While living in Canada, Moore wrote his first three novels, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, The Feast of Lupercal, and The Luck of Ginger Coffey, the first two set in Belfast, the third in Montreal. In 1959 he moved to the United States, but Canada continued to play a role in his later novels, including I Am Mary Dunne, The Great Victorian Collection, and Black Robe. His many honours included two Governor General’s Awards for Fiction.

Brian Moore died in Malibu, California, in 1999.