By Francis Chalifour

Nominated for the Governor General's Literary Awards 2005, (Children's Literature, Text)

Fifteen-year-old Francis's father has devoted suicide and not anything could be the comparable back. Suicide is gruesome, unglamorous, and it's by no means an answer. Its aftermath is dreadful.

At first, Francis feels a bad guilt. might he were a greater son? What if he hadn't left his domestic in Montreal to head on a quick vacation in ny the weekend it occurred? quickly the guilt turns to anger after which to a disappointment so profound that he thinks he can't endure it.

After is the map of a 12 months following the suicide of a friend. during months, with the affection of his mom, with counseling, and with the balm of time, Francis takes his first steps towards coming to phrases along with his father's -- and his family's -- tragedy. After is very own, however it will resonate with a person who has confronted the lack of a enjoyed one.

This magnificent autobiographical first novel is an acute research of the grieving approach. even though it is steeped in Francis's unhappiness, it truly is finally a narrative of desire.

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All of a sudden he started doing this strange-sounding music, almost overnight. " You can hit anything, any kind of chord. Like John Cage playing the shit he's playing, making all them strange sounds and noises. Music is wide open for anything. " Like, he'd be playing "My Funny Valentine" in a major key and it's supposed to be 94 played in D minor. But he would just smile that sweet smile of his and keep doing what he was doing. Mingus was something else, man, a pure genius. I loved him. Anyway, during the summer of 1946-late August I think-Billy Eckstine's band came to Los Angeles.

On the first day of rehearsal, everybody showed up but Bird. We waited around for a couple of hours and I ended up rehearsing the band. Now, opening night, the Three Deuces is packed. We ain't seen Bird in a week, but we'd been rehearsing our asses off. So here this nigger comes in smiling and shit, asking is everybody ready to play, in that fake British accent of his. " I tell him. He nods, counts off the beat and plays every motherfucking tune in the exact key we had 102 rehearsed it in. He played like a motherfucker.

Sonny Criss, an alto player, used to sit in, and Art Farmer, Red Callender, the bassist, and Red's protege, that crazy, beautiful motherfucker, Charlie Mingus. Charlie Mingus loved Rird, man, almost like I have never seen nobody love. Maybe Max Roach loved Bird that much. But Mingus, shit, he used to come to see and hear Bird almost every night. He couldn't get enough of Bird. He also liked me a lot. But Mingus could play the bass and everybody knew when they heard him that he would become as bad as he became.

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