Days by Moonlight
Almost a year to the date of his parents' death, botanist Alfred Homer, ever hopeful and constantly surprised, is invited on a road trip by his parents' friend Professor Morgan Bruno. Professor Bruno wants company as he tries to unearth the story of the mysterious and perhaps dead poet John Skennen. But Days by Moonlight is also a journey through an underworld that looks like southern Ontario, a journey taken during the "hour of the wolf," that time of day when the sun is setting and the traveller can't tell the difference between dog and wolf, a time when the world and the imagination won't stay in their own lanes. Alfred and the Professor encounter towns where Black residents speak only in sign language during the day and towns that hold Indigenous Parades; it is a land of house burnings, werewolves, witches and plants with unusual properties. The novel is a darkly comic portrait of two beings: Alfred Homer and the Southern Ontario he loves. And it asks that perpetual question: how do we know the things we know are real and what is real anyway? (From Coach House Books)
Days by Moonlight won the 2019 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
Days by Moonlight was on the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.
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From the book
Though I brushed my teeth a number of times, I couldn't lose the taste of brass. I'm almost certain that this was down to the cider I'd drunk the night before. All morning, I was reminded of 'amber mole.'
My mother and Anne were on my mind, too. I couldn't think why, until I remembered that I'd heard Gordon Lightfoot's voice: the voice of my mother's favourite singer. ('Black Day in July' is the first song I remember hearing.) It had been a surprise to discover, when we first moved in together, that Anne, too, loved Lightfoot's songs. I'd teased her about it.
–Why not listen to something modern? I'd say. I hear Glenn Miller just dropped some hot wax!
Which had been my way of teasing her and which, on reflection, I regret. How uncivil I was, in those days when I took her for granted.
From Days By Moonlight by Andre Alexis ©2019. Published by Coach House Books.
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