Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Gay

Spirits in the Dark

30th Anniversary Edition

by (author) H. Thomas

introduction by Kaie Kellough

Vehicule Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Gay, Literary, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


First published in Canada in 1993, Spirits in the Dark is a pioneering intersectional novel of the LGBTQ+ and Caribbean-Canadian experience that was far ahead of its time.

In his powerful debut novel, H. Nigel Thomas writes with compelling honesty about the confusing maze of societal pressures that paralyze Jerome Quashee while growing up in the Caribbean, and later on in his adult life. Jerome's intelligence at first promises him a gateway out of the poverty his parents have known, but he must compete with privileged White boys for scholarships in a racist, classist culture. He represses his emerging homosexuality, fearing that it will bring his family disgrace, as he wrestles with the guilt of knowing so little about his African heritage and the pressure to let go his ties to Black culture. Under the spiritual guidance of Pointer Francis, he undergoes a religious ritual to block all sensory links to the outside world in order to see clearly into his past and face his demons.

About the authors

H. Nigel Thomas is a retired professor of U. S. literature and the author of dozens of essays and thirteen books, comprising novels, poetry, short fiction, and literary criticism. His novels Spirits in the Dark (1993) and Easily Fooled (2015) were shortlisted for the Hugh MacLennan Fiction Award. The French translation of Lives: Whole and Otherwise--Des vies cassées--was a finalist for the Carbet des lycéens award. He is the founder and English-language coordinator of Lectures Logos Readings and the editor of Kola. In 2000, he received the Montreal Association of Business Persons and Professionals' Jackie Robinson Award for Professional of the year; in 2013, Université Laval's Hommage aux créateurs; in 2019, the Montreal Black Theatre Workshop's Martin Luther King Junior Achievement Award; in 2021, the Quebec Writers' Federation Judy Mappin Community Award; and, in 2022, the Canada Council for the Arts John Molson Prize for the Arts.

H. Thomas' profile page

Kaie Kellough is a novelist, poet, and sound performer. His work emerges at a crossroads of social engagement and formal experiment. From western Canada, he lives in Montréal and has roots in Guyana, South America. His books include Dominoes at the Crossroads (short fiction, Véhicule Press 2020), Magnetic Equator (poetry, McClelland and Stewart 2019), and Accordéon (novel, ARP 2016). Kaie's writing has been awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize and the QWF Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. It has been listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal, the Amazon/Walrus Foundation First Novel Award, the ReLit Award, and the QWF A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. Kaie's work has traveled internationally, notably to festivals in the UK, Australia, Asia, the Caribbean, and continental Europe. He continues to craft new passages.

Kaie Kellough's profile page

Other titles by