Six Metres of Pavement

Six Metres of Pavement

A Novel

Book - 2011
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Winner of the 2012 LAMBDA Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction and of the 2011 Rainbow Awards

Ismail Boxwala made the worst mistake of his life one summer morning twenty years ago: he forgot his baby daughter in the back seat of his car. After his daughter's tragic death, he struggles to continue living. A divorce, years of heavy drinking, and sex with strangers only leave him more alone and isolated.

But Ismail's story begins to change after he reluctantly befriends two women: Fatima, a young queer activist kicked out of her parents' home; and Celia, his grieving Portuguese-Canadian neighbour who lives just six metres away. A slow-simmering romance develops between Ismail and Celia. Meanwhile, dangers lead Fatima to his doorstep. Each makes complicated demands of him, ones he is uncertain he can meet.

Publisher: Toronto :, Dundurn Press,, [2011]
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9781554887675
Branch Call Number: F DOC
Characteristics: 380 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: 6 metres of pavement


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Manateestarz Aug 20, 2016

Although I really loved the setting of the novel, the Portuguese-Canadian and Indian-Canadian communities in Toronto and like the idea of the plot, I cannot give this book a higher rating. It was lovely to read about two mature grown-ups falling in love after lifetimes of heartache and experiences.
The characters of gentle Ismail and shy but fiery Celia were well drawn and compassionate portrayals, but Doctor believes in telling us and not showing us. The writing is a bit stilted and wooden and the scenes could have been so much more.

May 30, 2016

Definitely recommend this one. At first I was worried there would be a lot of details about Ismail's daughter's death, but it was more about the guilt, fallout and finally learning to grieve. A wonderful story full of characters searching for a place and an a new identity.

debwalker Mar 31, 2011

"Though few will readily admit it, every parent of a toddler, fathers and mothers both, have experienced moments of lapsed focus while caring for their little ones.

Distractions abound. A ring tone, the doorbell, a hectic schedule, and the next thing you know, little Johnny or Sarah (or in the case of Six Metres, little Nitin or Priyanka) have shovelled sand into their mouths, are teetering precariously on the top step, or worse.

When it comes to toddler care, distractions happen. In most cases, thankfully, tragedy is averted. Scolding themselves, parents pledge to keep a closer eye and then move on.

But what happens when tragedy isn’t averted and the guilt-ridden parent can’t move on? This is the subject of Farzana Doctor’s excruciatingly honest second novel, Six Metres of Pavement."
Reviewed in Globe & Mail March 30, 2011 by Edward Brown

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