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Fiction Literary

A Seal of Salvage

by (author) Clayton B. Smith

Breakwater Books Ltd.
Initial publish date
Mar 2024
Literary, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, General, Magical Realism
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2024
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2024
    List Price

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Steeped in Newfoundland’s unique folklore and superstitions, A Seal of Salvage is a coming-of-age novel about unrequited love between adolescent boys that slips between history and mythology.

Set in 1950s rural outport Newfoundland and blending historical fiction with magic realism, A Seal of Salvage follows orphan Oliver Brown’s coming of age as a queer outsider. Oliver’s life in the small community of Salvage is overshadowed by lingering rumours about his mother, her mysterious past, and her untimely death.

But as Oliver grows up, he experiences a remarkable series of events of mythic proportions. Stories of Oliver’s mother become entangled with the folklore of the Selkie: people of the sea who live in the water as seals and come to land to find love as humans. While mostly unspoken, the speculations about Oliver’s bloodline become another excuse the town uses to marginalize him.

A Seal of Salvage explores the space where the natural and supernatural meet, as well as how the stories people tell can be fashioned to justify their own prejudice.

About the author

Clayton B. Smith is a writer from outport Newfoundland, currently residing in St. John’s. He has a joint honours degree in English and philosophy and a diploma in creative writing from Memorial University. His writing has appeared in various literary magazines, including Riddle Fence and Paragon. Clayton’s life revolves around people, pints, and prose, in no particular order.

Clayton B. Smith's profile page