The Cartographer of No Man's Land

The Cartographer of No Man's Land

A Novel

eBook - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
WW Norton

The lauded masterpiece about a family divided by World War I, hailed as “brilliant . . . altogether a remarkable debut” (Simon Mawer, author of The Glass Room).

From a village in Nova Scotia to the trenches of France, P. S. Duffy’s astonishing debut showcases a rare talent emerging in midlife.

When his beloved brother-in-law goes missing at the front in 1916, Angus defies his pacifist upbringing to join the war and find him. Assured a position as a cartographer in London, he is instead sent directly into battle. Meanwhile, at home, his son Simon Peter must navigate escalating hostility in a town torn by grief. Selected as both a Barnes & Noble Discover pick and one of the American Bookseller Association’s Debut Dozen, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land offers a soulful portrayal of World War I and the lives that were forever changed by it, both on the battlefield and at home.

Baker & Taylor
A Nova Scotian pacifist, assured a job as a cartographer in London, joins the war effort in 1916 in search of his beloved missing brother-in-law, leaving his son to fend for himself in their grieving fishing village. 20,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a Division of W. W. Norton & Company, 2013
ISBN: 9780871407603
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 27, 2018

Duffy has a deeply and poignantly human tale to tell - it is a historical novel of WW1, but much deeper than many of its kind due to the added dimension of tracking the complete family drama. It is two stories, delving both deeply into the felt experience of the soldiers on the Western Front, but also the families, neighbors, home-bound invalids, even the German immigrants, in the Home Front communities.

May 17, 2016

7 out of 10. Story wove between heartbreaks, but it was a good story

Oct 31, 2014

Fifty to 75 pages too long. Author is a hell of a writer but falls short as a story-teller.

Jul 24, 2014

As the 100th anniversary of this terrible war is observed, this book is worth reading as the author beautifully explores the circles of hell opened up by war, both on the battlefield and the homefront.

Apr 20, 2014

A Nova Scotia man joins Canadian troops headed to the Great War, promised with his sailing, artistic and navigation skills he?ll be a cartographer. On the home front his son Simon watches the war and its effects on his family and neighbors.

Duffy has written a wonderful story that appealed to me on many levels. The mystery of brother-in-law Ebbin, thought missing in action, gives the narrative page-turning intensity. But, Simon?s coming-of-age age story, particularly as he confronts the prejudice against his German heritage teacher is touching. And, the widow and son where Angus billets behind the lines gives the story both humor and pathos. Good first effort from this Minnesota writer.


Add a Summary
Jul 24, 2014

When his beloved brother-in-law Ebben goes missing in the “Great War”, Angus MacGrath puts aside his pacifist upbringing in a small fishing village in Nova Scotia and joins the army to search for him. Instead of becoming a cartographer working from London, Angus is thrust into the trenches in France. Back home, those who are left waiting are subjected to tension and hostility. As the 100th anniversary of this terrible war is observed, this book is worth reading as the author beautifully explores the circles of hell opened up by war, both on the battlefield and at home.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at IndyPL

To Top