Categories: Male Authors - Anglophone Authors - Authors of Non-Fiction - Fundy Coast
I grew up in the Saint John area and graduated from Kennebecasis Valley High School. I studied at Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick before completing a Ph.D. in History at Queen's University. Always fascinated by engaging stories, I especially enjoy helping make history accessible to a wide audience. I have worked as a researcher on documentary productions such as the award-winning History Canada series War Story: Afghanistan and 100 Days to Victory and written articles for Acadiensis, Middle Eastern Studies, and The Oxford Handbook of U.N. Peacekeeping Operations. I am the author of “Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers”: Canadian Internment Camp B, 1940-1945 and The Bitter Harvest of War: New Brunswick and the Conscription Crisis of 1917, both published by Goose Lane Editions as part of the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.
How has New Brunswick influenced your work?
I was born, raised, and largely educated in New Brunswick, and that would thoroughly influence all of my work no matter what it was about. The fact that my books focus on the province's history only underlines this connection. It is particularly important that we tell our own stories.
What is your favourite New Brunswick book, and why?
David Adams Richards' Lives of Short Duration may not even be my favourite of that author's incredible body of work, but it was certainly the most influential. I distinctly remember discovering it in Sackville's Tidewater Books while a student at Mount Allison and being amazed that the writer was from New Brunswick. That was a very important moment for me, the moment when I really started to believe that it would be possible for me to consider becoming a writer as well.
What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?
I very much enjoyed the book tour I completed in support of "Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers" in May 2019. Writing can be such a solitary activity and it was particularly wonderful to meet the people in Fredericton, Saint John, and Minto who came out to hear about the book.
"Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers": Canadian Internment Camp B, 1940-1945
On the morning of July 7, 1944, a loud knock came on the door of Barbara Wuhr's Grand Lake home. Alone in the house, with her husband on shift in a Minto coal mine, Mrs. Wuhr opened the door to two swarthy men, presumably local Maliseet peddlers. The younger looking of the two, who spoke English with a noticeable accent, politely asked for bread, butter, and salt, promising to return to pay her tomorrow. Happy to assist her neighbours, Mrs. Wuhr readily agreed. The next day came another knock on the door. This time, the visitors were Mounties seeking information on two escapees from the nearby Ripples Internment Camp. Mrs. Wuhr immediately identified the two men, Italian merchant mariners Tullio Festa and Cesare Lubrano, from official photographs. What were two European sailors doing in the forests of central New Brunswick?