Monday, September 20, 2010

The Hermit of Africville: The Life of Eddie Carvery

The Hermit of Africville: The Life of Eddie Carvery

Jon Tattrie

Nonfiction: Biography, Nova Scotia, History, Black Culture
208 pages
6" x 9" Trade Paperback
Includes photographs
ISBN 978-1-897426-18-0
Available in July 2010
Order this book from: Nimbus Publishing (or 1-800-Nimbus9)
or Amazon or Chapters or Pottersfield Press mail order.

Eddie Carvery was born in Africville, Nova Scotia, when the African-Nova Scotian seaside village was midway through its third century. As a teenager, he watched his world torn down as his friends and family were compelled to leave. After Africville was bulldozed in the 1960s under the guise of "urban renewal," Eddie Carvery returned to the site of his former hometown and pitched a tent in protest.

After forays into careers as a community organizer, sheet-metal worker and fisherman, Eddie returned to the ruins of Africville in 1970 to start his protest for the reclamation of his people's land and history. Forty years, three families, seven heart attacks and numerous attempts on his life later, he remains living on the land where he was born. He's been shot at, had his residence set on fire and been run off his land countless times. His struggles with his demons of addiction and violence have cost him his families and his entire adult life. He's tried to leave, but always he returned to Africville.

Sometimes accompanied by his brother, Victor, and sometimes by his friend and bodyguard, a dog called Spike, Eddie has lived as a virtual hermit in a small trailer across from the results of the urban renewal: a dog park called Seaview. All traces of his childhood community are gone, except for him - the last resident of Africville. There, through the solitude and frozen winters, he's walked the long walk to healing, rooted in the land of his ancestors. Dismissed as a squatter, he stayed in Africville. Searching through the ruins of his community and his battered mind, he's rebuilt himself and come to the conclusion that he's failed at everything, except one thing: Africville. In this riveting account, Jon Tattrie captures the story of Eddie Carvery and his struggle for survival and, ultimately, justice.