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All Gone Widdun is a novel about William Cormack's quest to save the Beothuk Indians of Newfoundland, his love for Shawnawdithit, a young Beothuk woman, and the tragedy of her life and the lives of her people. Based on historical accounts, the story is told in the alternating voices of Cormack, a Scottish merchant, and Shawnawdithit, whom Cormack brought to his home in St. John's to study Most of the major events in the novel are based on accounts in James P. Howley's classic, The Beothucks or Red Indians: the aboriginal inhabitants of Newfoundland, and Ingborg Marshall's A History and Ethnography of the Beothuk. Nearly all the named characters - with a few notable exceptions - were real people. Their personalities have been fictionalized. How they felt about themselves, each other and what happened is a matter of conjecture. Copies of Shanawdithit's drawings are placed at appropriate points in the narrative. *Widdun: Beothuk word for sleep, euphemism for death.
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[a] richly imagined, beautifully structured novel...All Gone Widdun's portrait of sanctioned inhumanity is near brilliant...a captivating story, very well told - Jim Bartley, the Globe & Mail - 20110818 All Gone Widdun is a very powerful, well-written novel which truly brings alive the character of Shawnawdithit...This novel will provide many hours of reading enjoyment and at the same time highlight one of the saddest chapters in our history - Mike McCarthy, the Telegram - 20110818 Beckel offers us a new world and new insights into the human heart. It's a beautiful story, beautifully rendered. - Marshall Cook, Creativity Connection - 20110818

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