The morning after her high school graduation, Mel and her older brother Matt drive by a crime scene. A few hours later, the police arrive at their door; it turns out the two siblings had witnessed the aftermath of a murder committed by their mother. This Has Nothing to Do With You is the story of how Mel and her brother come to terms with their mother's destruction of their family and the past which fuelled her actions.
Three years after the murder, Mel has not gone to visit her mother in prison--and there isn't much hope that she is going to. After drifting around the continent, living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, and then in a cave in Arizona, she has returned to her family and friends in Northern Ontario and is struggling to care for a dog, Grommet, a mastiff with a tragic past who lives with her in a too-small apartment that does not allow pets. Meanwhile Matt, a new parent, is withdrawing from his family, increasingly unable to pull himself away from the news, looking on in horror as the Rwandan genocide unfolds, desperate to do something.
Lauren Carter's compulsively readable novel follows a dynamic cast of characters about their lives in Northern Ontario and pays tribute to the bonds that are formed through trauma and grief--with siblings, spouses, lovers, friends, and dogs.
Lauren Carter is the author of four books including the novels This Has Nothing To Do With You and Swarm and the poetry collections Following Sea and Lichen Bright. Her first novel, Swarm, was on CBC's list of 40 novels that could change Canada. In 2014, her short story "Rhubarb" won top place in the Prairie Fire fiction prize and appeared in the annual Best Canadian Stories (edited by John Metcalf). Her work has also been nominated for the Journey Prize and longlisted multiple times for the CBC Literary Prizes in both poetry and fiction while also earning multiple grants, including the Manitoba Arts Council Major Arts Award, given to Manitoba artists whose creative work shows "exceptional quality and accomplishment." She grew up in Blind River, ON, and has lived in the Greater Toronto Area and The Pas, MB. She currently resides in St. Andrews, MB.
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