About this book
Part family memoir, part poetry, part love letter to Newfoundland and its people, The Bosun Chair is a lyrical exploration of how we are fortified by the places of our foremothers and forefathers and by how they endured.
Like 'ballycater,' the ice that gathers in harbours along the coast, Jennifer Bowering Delisle gathers fragments of history, family lore, and poetry—both her own and that of her great-grandparents—to tell stories of shipwrecks, war, resettlement, and men and women's labour in early twentieth-century Newfoundland. With deftness and haunting imagery, The Bosun Chair reveals the inherent gaps in ancestral history and the drive to understand a story that can never fully be told.
"A treasure-box of Newfoundland lore, collected by the great-granddaughter of not one, but two, shipwreck-braving poets, The Bosun Chair’s seamless movement between memoir, poetry, interview and historical document echoes Ondaatje’s early genre-blending lyric prose. Deslisle tenderly imagines a family history of the ancestral Newfoundland she never knew."