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

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment


Did you vote in advance polls for the 2021 federal election?

Get more Halifax

Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.