When the Bottom Falls Out

The past sits uneasily on the characters of these stories, whether on their native Isabella Island or in Montreal, where some of them now live. Life is ultimately lived according to the choices that were made, and retribution does not always go where it belongs. The wealthy and proper Higginsons have lived a lie that eventually must come out. Jen and Edwin are passionately in love, but can they shake off the shadow that hangs over their lives? In his quiet and subtle way, Thomas continues to bring alive a Caribbean island, giving depth and complexity to its characters.

“Novelist, short story writer and critic H. Nigel Thomas has written a fantastic collection of short stories that reveals universal truths about human nature and the human condition.”
–Montreal Community Contact

“. . . Thomas (who was born and raised in St. Vincent) has produced a complex and specific portrait of a Caribbean nation and particularly of race within the continued effects of colonialism.”
–The Globe and Mail

Praise for H Nigel Thomas’s Lives: Whole and Otherwise:

“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

Praise for Behind the Face of Winter:

“. . . a hard story, sometimes despairingly bleak, but it is also undeniably beautiful . . . worth reading–and rereading . . .”
Quill & Quire

Praise for Return to Arcadia:

“In lean, precise prose, Return to Arcadia journeys through the unspeakable and tabooed in the contemporary Caribbean, reminding us that the brutalities of slavery and colonialism continue to raise hell and fierce memory in the more secret realms of flesh and desire.”
–Thomas Glave, State University of New York

Thomas offers a fine story of forgiveness, self-actualization, and belonging.”
Montreal Review of Books



Publication Date: November 2014

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-927494-40-0
Page size: 5.75″ x 8.75″
180 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-927494-54-7

Photo of H Nigel Thomas

H Nigel Thomas was born in St Vincent. He attended university in Montreal and for ten years was a teacher with the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, before joining the faculty at Laval University, Quebec, from where he recently retired. His published works include the novels Behind the Face of Winter and Return to Arcadia, and the short-story collections, Lives, Whole and Otherwise and When the Bottom Falls Out. He received the Homage to Artists award from Laval University in 2013.

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