THE STREETS OF WINTER
—Saskatoon: Thistledown Press, 2004.
Stephen Henighan clearly loves Montreal. In The Streets of Winter, his latest work of fiction, he consistently describes Canada’s most cosmopolitan city with a lush authority that, if you know Montreal, reminds you of its draw, but if you’re unfamiliar, leaves you longing to explore.
Its ambitious scope, compelling characters, rich social detail and fine touches make it a vital addition to our emerging urban literature.
Henighan weaves a tapestry of interconnected voices into his story, flipping from one to the other with seamless ease.... The city’s own living character helps to determine the fate of its inhabitants...Henighan extends the urban mythologizing tradition of [Morley Callaghan and Mordecai Richler], as well as that of Hugh MacLennan and Leonard Cohen.
Henighan is intelligent and honest about what it feels like to live in a modern city....Unaffected honesty is the most arresting quality of Henighan’s writing. Moments of epiphany are described with beautiful control....all at once these understated and personal chains of thought begin to glow with a significance that is more than local.
The pacing is crisp and the details of Montreal life wonderfully evocative.
A multi-layered portrait of Quebec’s political and cultural climate....Henighan offers a book where his ideas about culture and identity have resonance beyond the covers of his novel.
A writer serious about the potential of fiction and seriously engaged with his subject.