Black History Month Spotlight: “Lives: Whole and Otherwise” by H. Nigel Thomas

Lives: Whole and Otherwise

Lives whole and otherwis

Publisher: Tsar Publications

Publication Date: September 1st 2010

Synopsis:

These stories of triumph and despair present a gallery of characters, Caribbean immigrants struggling against the odds, as they make their way through the maze of urban life. Set in Montreal, “Lives” breaks the stereotypes to give us a side of Canada rarely acknowledged. Mary Fellows is a sex-worker organizing a demonstration on St Catherine Street; Margaret is on a perpetual quest for a suitable man, her latest folly a suave, much younger man she brought over from Jamaica; Greta, a domestic help, proudly holds up her son’s high school diploma; but can he read it? “Lives” adds to Thomas’s already considerable reputation as a chronicler of black life in Montreal. These stories from Montreal present a gallery of characters, Caribbean immigrants desperate and triumphant, always struggling against the odds, as they make their way through the maze of urban life. Lives breaks the stereotypes to give us a side of Canada rarely acknowledged. Praise for H Nigel Thomas’ Behind the Face of Winter: .” . . may be the starkest, most distressingly honest, thus unforgettable, account of the Caribbean-Canadian experience yet written . . . a brave and eloquent voice. – Montreal Gazette

About the Author:

Dr. H. Nigel Thomas is a recently-retired Professor of American Literature at the Université Laval and an author of many publications including short stories, critical studies, poems and novels.

Dr. Thomas is one of the few authors to openly write and/or talk about being gay in the Caribbean. He spearheaded many initiatives in Montreal, where he lived from 1968-88, including co-founding the Free South Africa Committee and founding the literary magazine, KOLA. Much of what he writes comes from a need to explore, via the imagination, what it is to be human. Previously, he had taught English and French for several years with what is now the Montreal English School Board. He now resides in the Montreal suburb of Greenfield Park.

– Bio taken from Who’s Who Of Black Canada

A. A. Omer

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