Moving Forwards Sideways Like a Crab

Shani Mootoo

Moving Forwards Sideways Like a Crab

Alternating between the sunny, tropical beauty of Trinidad and the grey, slushy winters of Toronto, Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab is a story about navigating between two worlds in more ways than one.

Jonathan Lewis-Adey grew up in a Toronto neighbourhood, but his childhood becomes filled with sorrow when his parents separate and his beloved mother Sid vanishes.

As an adult, Jonathan manages to track down his mother, but to his surprise and dismay he discovers that she has become a man named Sydney and has moved back to his native Trinidad.

This compelling narrative paints a unique portrait of a complicated parent/child relationship, and explores whether a once powerful bond has the strength to overcome years of confusion, anger and loss.


"It amuses me how the instant the fasten-seatbelts sign is turned off during the flight from Toronto to Port of Spain, Trinidadians get up and strut about. They seem to know one another: they congregate in the aisles unabashedly airing their business, telling jokes, heckling each other or reminiscing. Their anticipation is palpable. Some begin the journey as strangers, but through conversations struck up in the interminable lineups at the airport or during the five-hour flight itself, they inevitably learn that they know someone in common, or are even related."

From Moving Forwards Sideways Like a Crab by Shani Mootoo. Copyright © 2014. Published by Doubleday Canada