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Barbara Walsh braves the storm 

The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist goes into the storm for her non-fiction book that relives a deadly hurricane and family history in August Gale: A Father and Daughter's Journey Into the Storm.

Storm chaser, Barbara Walsh
  • Storm chaser, Barbara Walsh

When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barbara Walsh told her father she wanted to write a Perfect Storm-style book, she never expected he'd respond with: "You have a story like that in your own family." He told her about the August gale of 1935, a devastating hurricane that swept through Marystown, Newfoundland, claiming the lives of many fisherman, some of whom were her relatives. Walsh wasn't just fascinated by the tragic gale, but another story, too: In sharing stories of the squall, her father began to open up about a stormy family history that he'd remained tight-lipped about for years. "It was a story I was supposed to tell," says Walsh. "At first I kept pushing the personal story out, but granddad kept pushing back in." Nine years, three trips to Newfoundland and over 200 interviews resulted in August Gale: A Father and Daughter's Journey Into the Storm, a book that weaves together a narrative of the storm that ripped through Marystown and touched everyone in the village, and Walsh's journey into her father's memories of a grandfather she never knew. For a writer who's covered some dark and twisted territory in her career, this ended up being the hardest story she'd ever told---but in piecing together tales of Marystown, she managed to reassemble her family tree, too.

Tue Nov 1, Keshen Goodman Library, 330 Lacewood Drive, 7pm

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Vol 26, No 29
December 13, 2018

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