The Shining Fragments

When Joseph lay down, he gave in to the silence that replaced the ringing in his head. The nun sat on a chair beside his bed. She was a bird on the ship’s rail and her eye was a perfect circle. She was a granite angel in St. Patrick’s churchyard. She might have had wings. She was the moon’s face drifting across the blanket of night, watching over him.

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The Shining Fragments Robin Blackburn-McBride

Robin Blackburn McBride reads from The Shining Fragments, her upcoming new novel

The Shining Fragments is a family saga about the Irish in Canada that explores the ramifications of abandonment, obsession, love, memory, and visionary power.

Spanning the years 1882-1904, it follows Joseph Conlon from his early childhood in Ulster to his experiences of youth and adulthood as an immigrant. Left behind as a small boy on a Toronto train-station platform like so much forgotten luggage, Joseph grows up in a city bleak with bigotry. He discovers that he has artistic talent and becomes a designer of stained-glass windows.

He is haunted by the spirit of his unborn sister, Annie, and the powerful and often conflicting influences of the women in his life.

Here is a convincing drama of an Irish boy who, after being abandoned in Union Station, seeks to make himself a life. What appealed to me is that the story is uniquely set in a well-researched, turn-of-the-century Toronto. The struggling characters come from all classes and, most important, their dramatic interactions are told with a gripping, compassionate power.

—Wayson Choy, Order of Canada, novelist, memoirist, short-story writer

Check out Robin’s live events for The Shining Fragments Launch

INTERVIEW ON THE SHINING FRAGMENTS
Venue: Daytime Ottawa: Rogers TV
When: Tuesday 02 October, 1:00 p.m.


THE SHINING FRAGMENTS AUTHOR READING & TALK
Venue: Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
Where: 106 Trinity Street, Toronto
When: Wednesday 10 October, 12:00 – 1:00 P.M.


THE SHINING FRAGMENTS BOOK LAUNCH: Toronto
Venue: Ben McNally Books, Toronto
Where: 366 Bay St, Toronto, ON
When: Wednesday 10 October, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


WORD UP BARRIE
Venue: Unity Market Café and Studios, Barrie
Where: 25 Toronto St, Barrie
When: Thursday 11 October, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.


THE SHINING FRAGMENTS AUTHOR READING & TALK
Venue: The Tollkeeper’s Cottage
Where: 750 Davenport Road, Toronto
When: Friday 12 October, 6:30 – 7:30 P.M.


THE SHINING FRAGMENTS BOOK LAUNCH: Ottawa
Venue: The Art House Café, Ottawa
Where: 555 Somerset St W
When: Wednesday 17 October, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


THE SHINING FRAGMENTS BOOK LAUNCH: Montreal
Venue: Paragraphe, Montreal
Where: 2220 McGill College Avenue
When: Wednesday 24 October, 6:30 p.m.

 

Robin Blackburn McBride interview
with Louise H Reid

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Robin Blackburn McBride is an author, speaker and coach in human potential. For twenty years she taught at Toronto’s Branksome Hall. In 2002 Guernica published a collection of her poetry, In Green. Robin’s eBook, Birdlight: Freeing Your Authentic Creativity, became an Amazon Best Seller in 2016, and has since been released in paperback and as an audio book. The Shining Fragments is her first novel.

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