A Minor Chorus: A Novel by Billy-Ray Belcourt


Longlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.


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SKU: 9781324021421 Categories: , , , ,


Our bookseller says:

“Our unnamed narrator is desperate to survive and live and do something of importance, to use art as a means of thriving and building a safe haven for his community in a world that wants him dead. Writing his novel is a cathartic healing process for the narrator, as he revisits the people and places that shaped him. Belcourt’s writing fluctuates between theory and praxis, poetry and prose with a dizzying effect. A Minor Chorus is at once hopeful and blatantly aware of the imperialist forces working against queer, Indigenous Canadians. A poignant and melancholy read, I had to force myself to take the story slow to truly absorb the meaning behind every word (though I wanted to finish it in one sitting). Belcourt’s writing is purposeful and meaningful and a beauty to read.”


In the stark expanse of Northern Alberta, a queer Indigenous doctoral student steps away from his dissertation to write a novel, informed by a series of poignant encounters: a heart-to-heart with fellow doctoral student River over the mounting pressure placed on marginalized scholars; a meeting with Michael, a closeted man from his hometown whose vulnerability and loneliness punctuate the realities of queer life on the fringe. Woven throughout these conversations are 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 a dazzling new literary voice whose vision and fearlessness shine much-needed light on the realities of Indigenous survival.

A Minor Chorus: A Novel by Billy-Ray Belcourt