February debut author: Michael Christie
If I Fall, If I Die is a remarkable debut novel full of dazzling prose and unforgettable characters, as well as a poignant and heartfelt depiction of coming of age.
Will has never been to the outside, at least not since he can remember. And he has certainly never got to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Their little world comprises only the rooms in their home, each named for various exotic locales and filled with Will's art projects. But soon the confines of his world close in on him.
Despite his mother's protests, Will ventures outside clad in a protective helmet and braces himself for danger. He eventually meets and befriends Jonah, a quiet boy who introduces him to skateboarding.
Will welcomes his new world with enthusiasm, his fears fading and his body hardening with each new bump, scrape and fall. But life quickly gets complicated. When a local boy goes missing, Will and Jonah want to uncover what happened. They embark on an extraordinary adventure that pulls Will far from the confines of his closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood and the dangers that everyday life offers.
We are delighted that Michael has offered his top ten tips for writing for budding authors.
What the critics said
"An astonishing piece of work. Christie combines lyrical prose and true-to-life characters - and skateboarding - to craft a remarkable tale of mothers and sons, and what it means to grow up." Philipp Meyer, author of The Son
"If I Fall, If I Die is an expertly crafted work of great heart and sensitivity. I can't recall a truer or more beautiful debut." Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers
"A bruiser of a tale, one you will feel in your shins and your solar plexus. Michael Christie is a virtuosic prose stylist and boy is he so very wise and so funny on families and friendships, fear and joy, and the physics of sky and pavement." Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!
About the author
Michael Christie received an MFA from the University of British Columbia and is a former professional skateboarder. His story collection, The Beggar's Garden, was a finalist for a number of major Canadian prizes and the winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award. He lives with his family on Galiano Island, British Columbia. If I Fall, If I Die is his debut novel.
We gave away 15 copies of 'If I Fall, If I Die' for review. Read the reviews here.
Last updated: almost 2 years ago