The Double Hook
The Double Hook, by Sheila Watson (Toronto, 1959), is described by some as Canada's first modern novel.
The Double Hook, by Sheila Watson (Toronto, 1959), is described by some as Canada's first modern novel. The Double Hook departs from traditional plot, character development, form and style to tell a poetic tale of human suffering and redemption that is at once fabular, allegorical and symbolic. When James Potter kills his mother in the opening scene, he sets in motion the Potter family's struggle against fear - symbolized most dramatically by the figure of Coyote - and with various forms of withdrawal from community into isolation. James must discover "that when you fish for glory you catch the darkness too. That if you hook twice the glory you hook twice the fear." His return to his isolated community in the Rockies after first fleeing to town represents the rebirth of hope and the confrontation with fear which might knit the Potters into a human community. Watson weaves Christian myth, Indigenous legend and natural symbol into a profound prose poem. The Double Hook has been translated into French as Sous l'oeil de coyote (Montréal, 1976), and into Swedish.