Thunder Bay·Audio

Michael Christie's first novel 'love poem' to Thunder Bay

The first novel from award-winning author Michael Christie is an inventive coming of age story, firmly rooted in northwestern Ontario.

"If I Fall, If I Die" is a coming of age story set in Christie's hometown.

Author Michael Christie's new novel is about growing up, and facing fears. (file photo/CBC)
Michael Christie is a professional skateboarder, turned award-winning author from Thunder Bay. His brand new book hits shelves today. 5:05

Michael Christie, the professional skateboarder-turned-author, burst onto the Canadian literary scene in 2011 with his award winning book of short stories, The Beggar's Garden, set in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

His follow-up, and first novel, is an inventive coming of age story firmly rooted in northwestern Ontario. 

If I Fall, If I Die, tells the story of Will, an eleven-year-old boy who's entire world is the home he shares with his agoraphobic mother. 

"He's sheltered in the most extreme sense," said Christie, from his current home on Galiano Island. 

That is until one day Will steps outside, discovers Christie's gritty version of Thunder Bay, and becomes embroiled in a mystery that draws him to the city's icy harbour, and iconic decaying grain elevators. 

Christie, who lived in Thunder Bay while writing the book, said he wanted to capture his hometown. 

"I grew up in Thunder Bay, so it's a huge part of my imagination," he said.

"It's a dark book, but it's also a love poem to the city, I think. It's a city I love very much."

If I Fall, If I Die, hits the shelves on January 20th. 

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