Dead and Not Dead by Larry Gibbons
Boularderie Island Press
Calvin’s life is at a crossroads. He needs to figure out why he exists, or if he exists at all. He begins a relationship with Susie, who lives in Pi’tawk, a [fictional] First Nation’s reserve in Cape Breton. Susie is a bright, tell-it-like-it-is Mi’kmaw woman who teaches Calvin, often against his will, the strange and often mystifying ways of her people. To Calvin’s annoyance, Susie’s friends freely parade in and out of her trailer on Dream Road. One of them is Brucie who always wears sunglasses to protect him from the thick, red mist that descended on the reserve when Calvin arrived. Other strange things happen on the Reserve—including a phantom truck driven by a dead man and the spirit of the Woman in the Red Hat who follows Calvin around to keep him safe. It eventually becomes too much for Calvin and he heads back home to Ontario. At the Crossroads he stops, knowing he must decide whether to keep going back to his old life, or to return to the seductive ways of Pi’tawk and the woman he loves.
A graduate of Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario, Larry’s interests and work life have always been somewhat eclectic. He has been a library clerk, a photo technologist and a veterinarian technologist at various times. An enthusiastic hiker, cyclist, hockey player and cross-country skier, Larry’s short fiction has been published in anthologies and magazines in Canada and the US. Breton Books published his collection of short fiction, White Eyes, in 2011. Larry resides in Middle River, Cape Breton. Dead and Not Dead is his first novel.
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