The Curse of the Narrows
The Halifax Explosion, 1917Book - 2005
Finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction
The events of the horrific Halifax explosion are well documented: on December 6, 1917, the French munitions ship Mont Blanc and the Belgian relief ship Imo collide in the Halifax harbour. Nearly 2,000 people are killed; over 9,000 more are injured. The story of one of the world’s worst non-natural disasters has been told before, but never like this.
In a sweeping narrative, Curse of the Narrows tells a tale of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation, retracing the steps of survivors through the wreckage of a city destroyed now one hundred years after the fatal explosion. Laura M. Mac Donald weaves apanoramic chronicle of the astonishing international response to the explosion,telling of the generous donations of money and medical specialists made by thecity of Boston, of how the number of horrific injuries to Halifax’s childreninspired startling developments in pediatric medicine, and exploring the disaster’s chilling link to the creation of the atomic bomb.
Filled with archival photos, defined by meticulous research and infused with a storyteller’s sensibility, Curse of the Narrows is a compelling and powerful book, ever timely one the one-hundredth anniversary of the Halifax explosion.