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The Shipping News

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About Him

Grew Up… among the last in a long line of Newfoundlander good-for-nothings and pseudo-pirates. Quoyle’s father, Guy, did little for him and expected even less. Quoyle says, “I used to imagine that I’d been given to the wrong family at birth and that somewhere in the world my real people longed for me.” Unfortunately, his father’s harsh method of childrearing flattened Quoyle.

Living… in Newfoundland. Quoyle has recently learned from an old relative, Agnis Hamm, that he’s inherited a house in Newfoundland. After the recent death of his wife, Petal, Quoyle is planning on tending the property and trying to heal. Living in the decrepit house with Agnis and his daughter, Bunny, Quoyle has a lot of adjustments to make as he begins a new life in this different, unusual place.

Profession… various. Since high school Quoyle has worked only odd jobs. Now looking for work as an ink setter, he stumbles into a reporting job at the local newspaper, reporting on car wrecks and shipping news. After Petal’s death in a car accident, he doesn’t find himself well suited to the task.

Interests… simple and few. He’s a loving father to Bunny and a kind man to everyone he meets. What he doesn’t like is more telling than what he does. He’s afraid of water – he doesn’t know how to swim – and the car crashes he reports on make him nauseous.

Relationship Status… single. Petal, Quoyle’s former lover, entered his life as randomly as she exited it. Now in Newfoundland, a local woman, Wavey Prowse, has caught his eye. Wavey is a single parent, like Quoyle, and is kind too. She’s more independent than Quoyle, though, and not nearly as timid. Though Quoyle isn’t exactly eye-catching, there may be something there between Wavey and him.

Challenge... overcoming his past traumas and building a new life for himself and his daughter. He suffers from childhood trauma, which is triggered by Agnis and in the house itself. Newfoundland, the land of his ancestors, seems to consider him an outsider, like his parents did. If Quoyle can make a life for himself in this foreign, seafaring place, he can have overcome his estrangement from the world. As Agnis tells him, “We face up to things we're afraid of because we can't go 'round 'em.”

Personality… timid, softly spoken, and a little bit aimless. However, his helplessness might be his most attractive quality. His childish nature and ineptitude make him kind and endearing.

Quoyle's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #5162 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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