Image’s March 2013 Artist of the Month

Posted: March 15, 2013 in A Blessed Snarl
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Here’s a little peak at Image‘s March 2013 Artist of the Month feature. To read more, click here.

Samuel Thomas Martin is possessed of the ability to spin a good yarn—and also to plumb the depths. In his novels and short fiction he marries canny and satisfying storytelling with a rich and sympathetic investigation of his characters’ interior worlds, all lovingly and convincingly grounded in the land- and seascapes of his native Canada. His critically acclaimed first novel, A Blessed Snarl, is a family saga worthy of the Old Testament. It explores the unraveling of a man driven to the edge of a continent, back to his childhood home on a spare, demanding island of Newfoundland, where he wrestles with matters of marriage, forgiveness, religious calling, and faithfulness. He wants to live the kind of life his grandparents had; his wife finds their new life in a remote community stifling, and eventually reacts calamitously. It’s to Martin’s credit as a writer that while we find the main character’s ambition sympathetic, even admirable, her response to their isolation feels no less understandable. Martin’s short stories, collected in This Ramshackle Tabernacle, are also populated with men on the verge. His currency is the tension between the past and the future, loyalty and ambition, courage and desperation, art and pragmatism. Over and over, what draws him is the clash of the old world and the modern one—a war played out through technologies, values, manners, and landscapes.

You can read an excerpt from “Running the Whale’s Back,” part of Samuel’s new book A Blessed Snarl, featured in IMAGE issue 72 here.


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