November 24, 2006
Source: Dalhousie University
What do skunks, surfing, fog, baseball and a beloved grandmother's piano have to do with each other? These seemingly disparate topics are woven together in a funny and poignant new book from Lesley Choyce. Driving Minnie's Piano: Memoirs of a Surfing Life in Nova Scotia weaves together Lesley's real-life adventures, living by the sea at Lawrencetown Beach.
The novel includes accounts of surfing in the Canadian North Atlantic through all four seasons (including the harsh Atlantic winter). Threading its way through the narrative is the story of Minnie's piano, lessons learned from the old and the young and an exploration of both "heroes and fools in the daily enterprise of living."
Central to the novel is the true story of how his life was forever altered when 16 skunks took up residence beneath his 200-year old farmhouse. This calamitous event and the deed of evicting the skunks (with the care of a die-hard environmentalist) formed the basis for a children's book and the film The Skunk Whisperer, which aired on three national networks.
Lesley holds two masters degrees from Montclair State and City University of New York. He has taught at a dozen universities in the United States and in Canada and currently teaches in the English Department at Dalhousie as well as TYP. He is the author of 35 books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, including his popular history, Nova Scotia: Shaped by the Sea.