Lives: Whole and Otherwise

Meet Mary Fellows, a sex-worker organizing a demonstration on St Catherine Street; how can she make the Anglican dean support it? . . . Disappointment follows disappointment as Margaret tries to find a suitable man; her latest folly is the suave 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? . . .

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.

“In Thomas’ hands the interior monologue becomes a powerful tool for voicing character and experience. Time and again he demonstrates his skill at reproducing the speech patterns of characters with Caribbean origins to mesmerizing effect. . . . the stories contained in Lives Whole and Otherwise are all about shaking one frame or another. H Nigel Thomas gives voice to a hard social reality that refuses the glib formulas of traditional narrative form.”
The Rover


Publication Date: October 2010

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-894770-61-3
Page size: 5.75″ x 8.75″
160 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-894770-86-6

Photo of H Nigel Thomas

H Nigel Thomas is the author of six novels, three collections of short stories, and a previous collection of poems, in addition to dozens of essays. His novels Spirits in the Dark and No Safeguards were nominated for the Hugh MacLennan Fiction Award, and Des vies cassées, the French translation of Lives: Whole and Otherwise, was shortlisted for Le prix Carbet des lycéens. He holds the 2000 Professional of the Year Jackie Robinson Award, the 2013 Université Laval’s Hommage aux créateurs, the 2020 Black Theatre Workshop’s Martin Luther King, Jr Achievement Award, and is the 2022 winner of the Canada Council John Molson Prize for the Arts. In 2024, he was named a laureate for Black History Month in Montreal. He is also the founder and English-language coordinator of Lectures Logos Readings. A Vincentian Canadian, he has lived in the province of Quebec since 1968 and is a retired professor of United States literature.

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