A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt

A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt

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In Northern Alberta, a queer Indigenous doctoral student steps away from his dissertation to write a novel. He is adrift, caught between his childhood on the reservation and this new life of the urban intelligentsia. Billy-Ray Belcourt’s unnamed narrator chronicles a series of encounters: a heart-to-heart with fellow doctoral student River over the mounting pressure placed on marginalized scholars; a meeting with Michael, a closeted adult from his hometown whose vulnerability and loneliness punctuate the realities of queer life on the fringe. Amid these conversations, the narrator is haunted by memories of Jack, a cousin caught in the cycle of police violence, drugs, and survival. Jack’s life parallels the narrator’s own; the possibilities of escape and imprisonment are left to chance with colonialism stacking the odds. A Minor Chorus introduces the dazzling literary voice of a Lambda Literary Award winner and Canadian #1 national best-selling poet to the United States, shining much-needed light on the realities of Indigenous survival.

Billy-Ray Belcourt is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation. His books are: THIS WOUND IS A WORLD (Frontenac House 2017; UMinn Press 2019), winner of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize, NDN COPING MECHANISMS (House of Anansi 2019), winner of the 2020 Stephan G. Stephansson Poetry Prize and longlisted for Canada Reads, A HISTORY OF MY BRIEF BODY (Hamish Hamilton and Two Dollar Radio 2020), finalist for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Prize for Non-Fiction and the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir/Biography, and the forthcoming A MINOR CHORUS: A NOVEL (Hamish Hamilton and Norton 2022)