Helen Humphreys mourns her brother in "Nocturne"

Helen Humphries used the mourning of her late-brother, pianist Marin Humphreys, to write

Helen Humphries used the mourning of her late-brother, pianist Marin Humphreys, to write "Nocturne".

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Martin Humphreys was a gifted Canadian musician who was just twenty years old when he made his debut as a pianist at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Twenty-five years later, at 45 he was told he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and that his prognosis was dire. The illness moved swiftly and claimed him four months later.

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Martin was the beloved brother of Canadian poet and novelist Helen Humphreys. They were very close - as family and as friends - and she struggled to come to grips with his early death. 

Writers often write to make sense of events. Canadian poet Anne Carson wrote NOX, an elegy to her brother, when he died unexpectedly.  

And when his wife died, CS Lewis kept notebooks which eventually became A Grief Observed

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Helen Humpheys has written a memoir, Nocturne, in the form of a letter written to her brother - a final communiqué. 

It is her ninth book. Her first, Leaving Earth, was a New York Times Notable Book; The Lost Garden was a major critical success and her last book, The Reinvention of Love was on the long list for the 2013 Dublin Impac Literary Award. 

Helen Humphreys joined Kevin in our Toronto studio.
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