Books·Canadian

Nocturne

Helen Humphreys' memoir is written to and about her recently deceased younger brother.

Helen Humphreys

Helen Humphreys' younger brother was gone before she could come to terms with the fact that he had terminal cancer. Diagnosed with stage 4B pancreatic cancer at the age of forty-five, he died four months later, leaving behind a grieving family. Martin was an extraordinary pianist who debuted at the Royal Festival Hall in London at the age of twenty, later becoming a piano teacher and senior examiner at the Royal Conservatory of Music. The two siblings, though often living far apart, were bonded on many levels.

Now Humphreys has written a deeply felt, haunting memoir both about and for her brother. Speaking directly to him, she lays bare their secrets, their disagreements, their early childhood together, their intense though unspoken love for each other. A memoir of grief, an honest self-examination in the face of profound pain, this poetic, candid and intimate book is an offering not only to the memory of Martin but to all those who are living through the death of family and friends. (From Phyllis Bruce Books)

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

This is what happened after you died.

We took the plastic bag with your clothes, and the plastic bag with your pills. The bag with the pills weighed more.

Outside, the sky was red over the mountains and the air was cold as we walked through the parking lot. It was 5:30 in the afternoon of December third. You had died at 4:20, in room 351 of the Burnaby General Hospital in Vancouver.


From Nocturne by Helen Humphreys ©2014. Published by Phyllis Bruce Books.

Author interviews

Author mourns the passing of her brother in her new book "Nocturne". 22:21

now