PEI author Michael Pagé has released The First Noble Truth.
Acceptance of impermanence, as Buddhism tells us, is the key to freedom and enlightenment. While not the starting premise of the novel, or a lifetime of living, it may well be its conclusion.
In 2003, Ted Hume becomes publisher of the Informer, a struggling weekly newspaper in rural PEI. It is a tumultuous period. The US has invaded Iraq and on PEI a renewed move to restrict women’s rights is underway. As Ted searches for solutions to the Informer’s financial woes, June, his late grandfather’s assistant, suggests publishing a serialized novel.
This novel takes place at the height of the Vietnam War in a town on Cape Cod where the heavy hand of morality has no place. For Daniel and his girlfriend Rose, there is no escape from the cultural and military confrontations that are raging throughout the country and the world.
Ted, frustrated at seeing the same forces playing themselves out in his own time, decides to strike back by publishing the novel. As a result, he becomes entangled in political intrigue on PEI and must fight for the Informer’s survival. At the same time he is immersed in the complexities of love.
Set in different, yet similar times, both stories describe paths followed. Some lead towards independence, others to relying on pre-existing attitudes and beliefs—freedom versus security.
Pagé was born in Québec City and raised in Montreal. He moved to rural PEI in 1973. He has worked in teaching, carpentry, performing music and songwriting, as well as operating his own business producing handcrafted wood-turned bowls. Upon retiring in 2011, Pagé pursued his interest in writing fiction and poetry. He won the Milton Acorn Island Literary Award poetry prize in 2017.
The First Noble Truth is published by Tea Hill Press and is available in Charlottetown at Bookmark and in Montague at Lucky Bean Café.