Gulliver’s Travels meets The Underground Railroad: a road trip through the countryside – and the psyche – by the author of Fifteen Dogs.
Longlisted for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Botanist Alfred Homer, ever hopeful and constantly surprised, is invited on a road trip by his parents’ friend, Professor Morgan Bruno, who wants company as he tries to unearth the story of the mysterious poet John Skennen. But this is no ordinary road trip. Alfred and the Professor encounter towns where Black residents speak only in sign language and towns that hold Indigenous Parades; it is a land of house burnings, werewolves, and witches.
Complete with Alfred’s drawings of plants both real and implausible, Days by Moonlight is a Dantesque journey taken during the “hour of the wolf,” that time of day when the sun is setting and the traveller can’t tell the difference between dog and wolf. And it asks that perpetual question: how do we know the things we know are real, and what is real anyway?
“A mash-up that is part fabulism, part faux biography, and part satire, Days by Moonlight conveys the experience of grief, managing to transform its inarticulable and symbolic weight into a finely wrought literary work.” —Quill and Quire
André Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. In 2017, he was awarded the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for fiction. His novel Fifteen Dogs won the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His debut novel, Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His other books include The Hidden Keys, Pastoral (nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize), Asylum, Beauty and Sadness, Ingrid & the Wolf, Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa and Lambton, Kent and Other Vistas: A Play.
Alexis handles the material with a skill and adroitness readers have come to expect from him, along with a subtextual complexity that belies the straightforwardness of the surface narrative. Toronto Star
“A great novel doesn’t try to answer questions, but, like Days by Moonlight, complicates them. It’s for the reader to puzzle over.” The Globe and Mail