Louder Than the Sea by Wayne Bartlett, W. B. Bartlett
Wayne Bartlett's Louder Than the Sea is an ice-rimed foray into Newfoundland's outports. A harsh, sharp-eyed, occasionally hilarious novel, it shirks much of the mawkish reverence that plagues so much Atlantic fiction in favour of a style packed with luminous detail and the lilt of Newfoundland speech.
Martin Bellman, the youngest son of a family forced to abandon their tiny home port (located on a mere rock known as Sacred Island) and settle in a larger village on Newfoundland proper, is finding it difficult to adjust to his new home. Fourteen years old, he fights with his friends, gets expelled from school, and shows all the signs of turning into a career ne'er-do-well. In the midst of the seal hunt, Martin decides to return to Sacred Island, only to be stranded there to face the elements in arduous isolation.
Wayne Bartlett lives in Quirpon, Newfoundland. He works as a welding instructor for displaced fishermen. Since 1988 he has independently written and recorded five albums of original songs. One of the most popular, “She's Gone, Boys, She's Gone” is about the close of the Newfoundland fishery, and was made into an hour-long program on Witness for national television. He remains fascinated by the oral history of the area, and has researched and recorded these stories into three books, complete with old photographs and ledger accounts. Louder Than the Sea is his first novel.