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Misao Dean

Affiliation with UVic English: Faculty

Special Book: The Legend of John Hornby, George Whalley

When did you first read this book: Around 2002, when I was doing research on literature of the North and canoeing.

Which sentence from this book has special significance for you?

“Fifty or sixty years ago, a man travelling by canoe and on foot in the North-West Territories could be certain of very little except that wherever he went others had been before. From that, he could infer that with luck a man might survive; with skill –which is perhaps the logic of luck –he might be comfortable and live long.”

What does the sentence mean to you?

These are the first sentences of the book, beautifully constructed as sentences, but also so surprising, so much in opposition to all the cliches about the North. The book had me from then on.