Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous. Fifth Business stands alone as a remarkable story told by a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the real.
Robertson Davies (1913-1995) was an actor, a University Professor and a writer. He is the author of The Salterton Trilogy, The Deptford Trilogy and The Cornish Trilogy. M.G. Vassanji was born in Kenia and raised in Tanzania. His first novel, The Gunny Sack, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1990. His other books include Uhuru Street, No New Land, Amriika, and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall. He lives in Toronto.