368 pages, 8 × 5.27 × 0.76 in
August 23, 2005
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0676976441
ISBN - 13: 9780676976441
Read from the Book
IntroductionCANADA ISIt’s rare to remember exactly where you were when an idea first occurred to you–or at least, it’s rare for me. I usually wander through life gathering notions and hunches the way trouser pockets gather bits of lint; I’m not really sure how they got there, but there they are. In this case, though, I can recall vividly where I was when it dawned on me that Canada is not a country but a collection of outposts: it was while I drove through a night of heavy rain, into the realm of a legendary republic, a sleeping child and drowsy spouse beside me.We’d been on the road for hours, heading into northern New Brunswick. The wipers sloshed back and forth, barely able to keep the windshield clear. Bucket-throws of water washed across our view. At midnight, we crossed over into dangerous territory. The Republic of Madawaska. A self-proclaimed independent state, Madawaska is wedged between the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick and the state of Maine. The population is francophone, but the people are neither Québécois nor Acadian; they are les Brayons. And Madawaska is their heartland: La République.Northrop Frye, scholar and soul-searcher, noted that what set Canada apart in the western hemisphere was our lack of a distinguishable frontier – a line that advanced purposefully across the map like an isobar separating one world from another, with “settlement” on one side and “vanishing wilderness” on the other. In this, our experiences diverged drastically from those
Table of Contents
Introduction: Canada Is
Chapter One: The Sudden Disappearance of Victoria
Chapter Two: Leaving the Fort
Chapter Three: Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw
Chapter Four: Polar Bear Season
Chapter Five: Sleeping Giant
Chapter Six: The Road to Dawn
Chapter Seven: The Lost Kingdom
Chapter Eight: The Republic of Madawaska
Chapter Nine: “Saint John’s Is Gnawing on My Bones”
Chapter Ten: At L’Anse aux Meadows
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Publisher
Will Ferguson’s first book in three years, following on the back-to-back successes of How to Be a Canadian (over 110,000 copies sold) and Happiness™ (Winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour).
Will Ferguson has spent the past three years criss-crossing Canada and back again. In a helicopter above the barrenlands of the sub-Arctic, in a canoe with his four-year-old son, aboard seaplanes and along the Underground Railroad, Will’s travels have taken him from Cape Spear on the coast of Newfoundland to the sun-dappled streets of Olde Victoria.
In his last book, Will told us how to be Canadian; now in this book, he will tell us what it means to be Canadian. And what Will finds out along the way is that Canada in its development and in its current state is really a series of outposts — not only geographically but culturally.
Will’s journey takes him to far-flung isolated communities as well as deep into Canada’s urban centres. From the “million-acre farm” that is P.E.I. to the tobacco belt of southern Ontario, from the architectural mess that is Montreal to the glorious jumble that is St. John’s, from a renegade republic in northwestern New Brunswick to a tundra buggy in the polar bear migration paths of Hudson Bay, Will explodes the myths of who we are.
Funny, poignant and insightful, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw is a provocative tribute to our quirky and fascinating country.
Excerpt from Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw
In one particular seedy St. John’s pub, I was adopted by a work crew from Portugal Cove who took an immediate, almost antagonistic liking to me. “You’re from Alberta, you say? I have a cousin in Fort McMurray, maybe you know him.” (Everybody in Newfoundland has a cousin in Fort McMurray.) The crew from Portugal Cove tormented me with screech and second-hand smoke as they regaled me with tales of how their families were so poor “back when” that all they could afford to eat were lobsters. This was not the first time I had heard this. Apparently half the population of Newfoundland has subsisted on lobster at some point or other.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
The author/co-author of eight books of non-fiction and one novel, Will Ferguson is one of Canada’s best-selling writers. His first book, Why I Hate Canadians was a bestseller and established him as an iconoclastic writer; his most recent, How to Be a Canadian, co-authored with his brother Ian, has been a Globe and Mail bestseller for over eighty weeks. His other books of non-fiction include Bastards and Boneheads and Canadian History for Dummies. His first novel, Happiness™ , won the 2002 Leacock Medal for Humour and the 2002 Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction. It is now published in twenty-nine countries and twenty-three languages. Will lives in Calgary with his wife, Terumi, and their sons, Alex and Alister.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Yet another masterfully entertaining examination of Canuckishness penned by the Calgary author.… In each stop on this coast-to-coast travelogue, Ferguson sneakily wraps a local history lesson in a wickedly entertaining meander through obvious and obscure local landmarks…. Insightful and gag-filled.… Ferguson’s fascination with Canadiana is infectious."—The Calgary Herald"Full of surprises… and idiosyncratic charms…. Travel writers don’t always get to climb Everest or visit the Taj Mahal, and they can be judged best by what they come up with on a slow day. Ferguson is good when he’s sipping a handful of icy water out of Hudson Bay; he’s better eating pancakes in a Finnish restaurant in Thunder Bay.… Ferguson proves a companionable guide in Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw."—National Post"Will Ferguson is a talent. He writes refreshingly, provocatively and eloquently. He takes on issues from a contrarian’s perspective, but never exceeds the bounds of reason. He looks for the essence and his search brings out some smashingly insightful stuff."—Ottawa Citizen"Ferguson’s strength does not lie in whether he writes funny or not. His strength is that he writes so well."—The Times-Colonist"[Ferguson] delves into the soul of the cities he visits, sometimes climbing into helicopters, seaplanes and kayaks, and attending underground poetry slams."—Airlines"Ferguson takes readers on this quest for hidden gold in the best tradition of the true Canadian voyageur. He uncovers nuggets of hidden tre