Six Metres of Pavement

Farzana Doctor's protagonist recovers from a fatal mistake with the friendship of a young queer activist and a Portuguese-Canadian neighbour.

Farzana Doctor

Ismail Boxwala made the worst mistake of his life one summer morning 20 years ago: he forgot his baby daughter in the back seat of his car. After his daughter's tragic death, he struggles to continue living. A divorce, years of heavy drinking and sex with strangers only leave him more alone and isolated.

But Ismail's story begins to change after he reluctantly befriends two women: Fatima, a young queer activist kicked out of her parents' home; and Celia, his grieving Portuguese-Canadian neighbour who lives just six metres away. A slow-simmering romance develops between Ismail and Celia. Meanwhile, dangers lead Fatima to his doorstep. Each makes complicated demands of him, ones he is uncertain he can meet. (From Dundurn Press)

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From the book

Years ago, long before Ismail Boxwala came to this country, a school friend told him that the only way to survive misfortune is to stay in motion. The friend was in a philosophical mood induced by too many beers and a recent heartbreak and imparted these words: if the body never moves, if the limbs are not exercised, sadness will turn the blood and lymph stagnant. Regret will cause the heart to grow weak, infection will creep in, and a person will die a slow, painful death.

Ismail Boxwala had no courage for this sort of dying.

From Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor ©2011. Published by Dundurn Press.

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