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Astray
Cover of Astray
Astray
Stories
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Goldminer. Counterfeiter. Slave. Dishwasher. Prostitute. Attorney. Sculptor. Mercenary. Elephant. Corpse.

The colourful, fascinating characters that roam the pages of Emma Donoghue's stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They cross other borders, too: those of race, law, sex and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.

With rich detail, the celebrated author of Room takes us from puritan Massachusetts to the Yukon gold rush, antebellum Louisiana to a 1960s Toronto highway. Astray offers us a surprising and moving history for restless times.

Goldminer. Counterfeiter. Slave. Dishwasher. Prostitute. Attorney. Sculptor. Mercenary. Elephant. Corpse.

The colourful, fascinating characters that roam the pages of Emma Donoghue's stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They cross other borders, too: those of race, law, sex and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.

With rich detail, the celebrated author of Room takes us from puritan Massachusetts to the Yukon gold rush, antebellum Louisiana to a 1960s Toronto highway. Astray offers us a surprising and moving history for restless times.

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About the Author-
  • EMMA DONOGHUE was born in Dublin and lived in England for many years before moving to Canada. She writes in many genres, including theatre, radio drama and literary history, but is best known for her fiction, both historical (Slammerkin, The Sealed Letter, Astray, Frog Music) and contemporary (Stir-fry, Hood, Landing, Touchy Subjects). Her seventh novel, Room, won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Canada and the Caribbean region) and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. It sold more than two million copies. Donoghue scripted the film adaptation, a Canadian-Irish film by Lenny Abrahamson starring Brie Larson, which was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. And her most recent novel, The Wonder, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2016.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 11, 2012
    The stories in Donoghue’s new collection all come, to varying degrees, from historical records; the author of Room, who studied 18th-century literature at Cambridge, has a gift for reading historical documents and picking out the odd, telling detail. There’s the Plymouth Plantation man who accuses his neighbors of indecency, in “The Lost Seed”; the woman who gives her daughter up for adoption, then writes the Children’s Aid Society demanding her return, in “The Gift”; the Tammany Hall bigwig found to be a woman, in “Daddy’s Girl”; all outlines begging to be filled in. The 14 stories are all short (many too short), and by the time they’ve set up the circumstances and the era, they’re almost done, and we’re leaving characters we know as creatures of a time and place rather than individuals. When Donoghue establishes a distinct voice and person, the stories are vivid, curious, and honest: we’ll remember the serial Puritan accuser and the young German soldier in revolutionary America long after we’ve forgotten other characters—like Jumbo the Victorian elephant and his keeper or the men who tried to hold Abraham Lincoln’s body for ransom—in stories that are notable more for the historical moments they reconstruct than for the people who inhabit them. Agent: Kathleen Anderson.

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    HarperCollins Canada
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