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Fiction Literary

Last Hummingbird West of Chile

by (author) Nicholas Ruddock

Breakwater Books Ltd.
Initial publish date
Jun 2021
Literary, Action & Adventure, Magical Realism
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price

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An audacious tale of murder, privilege, and servitude - of both humans and nature.


A stunning work of imaginative fiction, Last Hummingbird West of Chile spins a tale of adventure that is in turn comedic, violent, poignant and thoughtful. Through the exploits of a young sailor born in questionable circumstance and a pair of murderous servants, as well as an assortment of other 19th century regulars, the vital subjects of today—race, religion, sexuality, environment—are framed in history and human culture.


Through narration by human protagonists, a tree, a hummingbird, various beasts, and the landscape itself, Ruddock tells a story of colonialism and environment, brutality and privilege, and the best and worst of human nature.

About the author

Nicholas Ruddock is a Canadian physician and writer. He has won numerous international prizes and was shortlisted for the Moth International Poetry Award (Ireland) in 2020.

His first novel, The Parabolist (2010), was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and the Arthur Ellis Award. His second novel, Night Ambulance (2016), was a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist.

Nicholas has been published in numerous international publications in Canada, England, Northern Ireland, and Ireland. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.


Nicholas Ruddock's profile page


  • Winner, IPPY Awards: Literary Fiction – Bronze

Editorial Reviews

“[W]ith the Last Hummingbird West Of Chile Nicholas has indeed lured us into strange lands in what is at once an enthralling adventure and a chillingly poignant morality tale about the impossibility of escaping from one’s self.”

Cannery Row

Praise for The Parabolist
"Passionate, off-hand, deeply charming and deeply original.”

Damian Tarnopolsky, author of Goya's Dog

"Without a doubt, Last Hummingbird West of Chile was one of the best books I’ve read this year. It was absolutely delightful and I was gripped to the very last line (which came too soon)."

Atlantic Books Today

Praise for The Parabolist
“With dazzling skill, Ruddock blends his intricate knowledge of medicine into an exciting, compelling, and expertly layered mystery."

Anthony De Sa, author of Barnacle Love

“[Experience] the burgeoning imagination of Nicholas, coupled with his wide range of knowledge and his lyrical understanding of flow in language. Really it’s a wonder to behold.”

Guelph Today

Praise for How Loveta Got Her Baby
“Accomplished, original, witty and wise.”

The Antigonish Review

Last Hummingbird West of Chile is blocked out in a nimble, resourceful, kaleidoscopic format. […] In each section, the tone and vocabulary has been tweaked and honed to reflect and fit its speaker, sailor or craft, servant or master, hummingbird or novitiate. Across the pages they converge and interconnect even as they pursue their individual goals, avowals and sensibilities. Last Hummingbird West of Chile is an ambitious tale, uniquely told."

The Telegram

Praise for Night Ambulance
“Ruddock has a refined ear for dialogue and a mischievous sense of humour. He also knows how to bring a story to a memorable conclusion.”

The Journey Prize Anthology

Praise for The Parabolist
"The Parabolist is an inventive, poetic, and thoroughly wonderful book."

Vincent Lam, author of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures

Praise for The Parabolist
"Packed with smarts, wit, and the spirit of Bolaño, The Parabolist envisions Toronto as an antic place full of characters willing to go to the brink for good sex, good love or a good poem."

Kyo Maclear, author of The Letter Opener

"...each point of view brought something new and interesting to the story. This novel felt so alive and well rounded, making it such an engaging experience to read."

Digitally Lit

Praise for The Parabolist

"The narrative is infused with the kind of intellectual energy and playfulness that is woefully lacking in so much Canadian fiction."

Quill & Quire

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