The Double Hook

Sheila Watson's modernist novel draws on elements of Christian belief, native lore and symbolism to tell the story of a tightly knit community in British Columbia.

Sheila Watson

A groundbreaking modernist novel that pushes the boundaries of prose, The Double Hook is set in Cariboo country in the interior of British Columbia. Intentionally lacking in conventional plot and character development, Sheila Watson's seminal novel combines elements of Christian belief, native lore and symbolism drawn from the natural world. It's a powerful story of transgression and redemption rendered in hypnotically poetic prose — and is one of Canadian literature's most important works.

From the book

Still the old lady fished. If the reeds had dried up and the banks folded and crumbled down she would have fished still. If God had come into the valley, come holding out the long finger of salvation, moaning in the darkness, thundering down the gap at the lake head, skimming across the water, drying up the blue signature like blotting-paper, asking where, asking why, defying an answer, she would have thrown her line against the rebuke; she would have caught a piece of mud and looked it over; she would have drawn a line with the barb when the fire of righteousness baked the bottom.

From The Double Hook by Sheila Watson ©1959. Published by New Canadian Library.