The Outlander

Gill Adamson

The Outlander

The protagonist of Gil Adamson's acclaimed novel is Mary, 19 years old, half-mad and on the run from the law. She has just killed her husband, and her brothers-in-law and their bloodhounds are hot on her trail and set on vengeance. Blending together elements of Gothic fiction, historical fiction and the Wild West, The Outlander is a story readers won't forget.

First published in 2007, The Outlander won the First Novel Award. It was a Canada Reads finalist in 2009, when it was championed by Nicholas Campbell.


"Sometimes discontent is unknown to the sufferer, a shadowed thing that creeps up from behind. It had been that way for Mary. Of course she knew there were reasons for her unhappiness, there are always reasons. One thinks, I am unhappy, I am discontent, because of this or that. But such thoughts are like a painting of sorrow, not sorrow itself. Then one day it comes, hushed and ferocious, and reasons don't matter anymore."

This excerpt is taken from The Outlander, copyright ©2007 by Gil Adamson, introduction copyright ©2012 by Esta Spalding. Reproduced with permission from House of Anansi Press, Toronto.

Gil Adamson discusses The Outlander: