Kalila chronicles the lives of Maggie and Brodie, whose joy collides with devastation when their daughter's birth also heralds the news of her congenital heart condition. In this startlingly inventive novel, Rosemary Nixon braids light and darkness into a narrative chain pulled exquisitely taut.
Through Maggie and Brodie's shifting viewpoints, the isolating impenetrability of hospital life, the mediation of physics, music, and family, Nixon propels the reader into unmapped emotional terrain where a shell-shocked family grapples with the horror, joy, and mystery of impermanence. The result is a spellbinding tale, provocative for the emotions and the intellect.
Rosemary Nixon penned Kalila on two continents over fifteen years. She is the author of two previous short story collections, Mostly Country and The Cock's Egg, winner of the Howard O'Hagan Short Fiction Award. Nixon has taught creative writing at the University of Calgary, Chinook College, and Sage Hill Writing Experience. She was Canadian writer-in-residence for the Markin-Flanagan Distinguished Writers Programme and is now writer-in-residence at the University of Windsor.
Shortlisted: George Bugnet Award for Fiction
"In Kalila, Rosemary Nixon has given readers characters to remember as a young couple struggles to cope with a premature infant whose life is in danger. In a tightly compressed novel with short snappy sentences and moments and phrases of poetic precision we have a heart-wrenching story with just enough humour to lighten the darkness. Using sources as diverse as The Little Prince, the Bible, hymns, traditional songs and the laws of physics, Nixon explores what it is to believe. Believe this: Kalila is a fine gem of a novel." — The Winnipeg Review
Pub date: April 15, 2011