Nanaimo author R. Lewis Heath’s new book is ‘Louise.’ (Photo courtesy Jane Logan)

Nanaimo author R. Lewis Heath’s new book is ‘Louise.’ (Photo courtesy Jane Logan)

Nanaimo author discusses spirituality, racism in latest novel

R. Lewis Heath concludes trilogy with ‘Louise,’ released this spring

Nanaimo author R. Lewis Heath is wrapping up a trilogy of books, concluding his long-standing protagonist’s story while setting up another character for a promising future.

Heath first introduced his hero Henry Throdmore as a child in his 2006 book Last Stands. In his latest book, Louise, Henry is living in a retirement home and the story focuses on his daughter, Louise.

“I started Henry out as a small child when he was first born … but the things he goes through as a child are pretty incredible,” Heath said. “Somehow he has managed to avoid cynicism.”

The book follows Louise, a schoolteacher seeking spiritual gratification while also coping with invasive dreams and visions that she fears her own daughter has inherited. Also ever present is the anxiety of racism and police brutality, as Louise is black and her husband is white.

The book also features discussions between Louise’s husband, a university professor and documentarian, and his peers as they develop a project to research the symptoms of social injustice.

Heath said he worked on the book for four and a half years before it was published yet the topics he brings up are even more relevant today.

“I wish they weren’t, believe me I do, but they are,” he said.

Heath said issues like racism and injustice tie into Louise’s spiritual search, as “all of that stuff plays a role in the spiritual connection of human beings.”

With his Throdmore trilogy at an end, Heath said “it’s time for a new book.” He said he’ll likely continue to address areas of concern like systemic racism, but he also just likes to write about “the drama that always occurs when there are people involved.”

“I’m not a geologist, so I don’t write about stones,” he said. “I just want to write about people.”

Louise is available here.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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