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.