David W. McFadden

David McFadden is a renowned Canadian poet and author. In 2008, he was short-listed for the Griffin Poetry Award for his collection Why Are You So Sad? and in 2009 Be Calm, Honey was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. As the judges of the Griffin Poetry Prize noted, “He has always been the darling of the avant-garde but he is the most readable poet on the planet.”

David McFadden’s most recent works of literary non-fiction make up the Innocent series of travel memoirs.

An Innocent in Cuba
x An Innocent in Cuba

An Innocent in Cuba: Further Curious Rambles and Singular Encounters

With An Innocent in Ireland, David McFadden began his eccentric journeys to the heart of some of the world’s most unique island nations. Now McFadden rambles through the highs and lows of Cuba, home to cigars, Guantanamera, and of course Castro. The beautiful Caribbean landscape, along with Cuba’s rich history, culture, and uncertain future, lend themselves to the quirky eye and wry witticisms of our innocent Canadian guide.

Poking into the nation’s many corners, McFadden offers a series of vignettes of the people, cities,villages, roads, and countryside of the island the author refers to as “the most famous little country in the world.” Warm and colourful, An Innocent in Cuba is a musical, sensuous, flirtatious, joyful tribute to the Cuban spirit in all its incarnations.

Rights sold:
McClelland & Stewart

An Innocent in Ireland
x An Innocent in Ireland

An Innocent in Ireland: Curious Rambles and Singular Encounters

When writer David McFadden sets out on a tour of Ireland, he is determined to so do in a relatively innocent state. Using as a guide only In Search of Ireland, a 1930s title by travel writer H. V. Morton, he plans to follow the same route, to try to determine how things have changed and how they have remained the same.

This he proceeds to do – at least at first. But soon he is wandering more and more erratically around the country, poking into any corner and musing over any sight that takes his fancy – from a cozy guest house in Kilcullen to the legendary Hill of Tara, from the south-coast pub run by twin sisters to the windswept reaches of the Ballaghbeama Gap. And increasingly he is drawn to the prehistoric monuments of ancient Ireland. As he goes, he records his very personal impressions in a clear-eyed and wryly humorous way.

Rights sold:
McClelland & Stewart

An Innocent in Scotland
x An Innocent in Scotland

An Innocent in Scotland: More Curious Rambles and Singular Encounters

McFadden brings wit, verve and a talent for dialogue to this chronicle of a summer’s wander through Scotland. Following a formula familiar from a previous work (An Innocent in Ireland), McFadden loosely traces the path of H.V. Morton (In Search of Scotland), a 1930s travel writer whose books on Ireland and Scotland serve as a rough framing device for his own book. McFadden’s journey unfolds as a collection of anecdotes, loosely grouped around one site or region. The traveller deftly captures the spontaneity of his many conversations and willingly partakes in the local flavor even when it includes haggis, a pudding made from sheep viscera, or Bovril, a hearty brew that “looked like coffee, smelled like roast beef.” McFadden generally steers clear of traditional attractions, being happier instead to highlight a windy wheat field that looks “like schools of green fish in yellow waters,” or to share the “brilliant Dark Age compromise” of how Aberdeen got its name.

Rights sold:
McClelland & Stewart

An Innocent in Newfoundland
x An Innocent in Newfoundland

An Innocent in Newfoundland: Even More Curious Rambles and Singular Encounters

In An Innocent in Ireland and An Innocent in Scotland, David McFadden let the spirit of the country – and his own interests – guide his rambles. He has now done the same in Newfoundland. Zigzagging across the province in his rented car, he charts an erratic course, admiring lawn sculpture (in his opinion a new local art), visiting fellow poets and publishers, wandering at dusk among the Viking mounds at L’Anse aux Meadows, rooming with a Salvation Army family in a distant outport, hanging on in a stiff wind to watch birds nesting on a cliff face, and enjoying the social life in countless bars and restaurants.

It soon becomes clear that McFadden’s love of a good chat is shared widely by the people he meets in Newfoundland and he is wise enough to let them tell their own stories. For, as ever, his interest is in the heart of a place – and not just its scenery.

Rights sold:
McClelland & Stewart

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