Kalila chronicles the lives of Maggie and Brodie, whose joy collides with devastation when their daughter’s birth also heralds the news of her congenital heart condition.

In this startlingly inventive novel, Rosemary Nixon braids light and darkness into a narrative chain pulled exquisitely taut. Through Maggie and Brodie’s shifting viewpoints; the isolating impenetrability of hospital life; and the mediation of physics, music, and family, Nixon propels the reader into unmapped emotional terrain where a shell-shocked family grapples with the horror, joy, and mystery of impermanence. The result is a spellbinding tale, provocative for the emotions and the intellect.


“Kalila is a novel that explores, with exquisite precision and harrowing honesty, the loss of a child. Here is love and grief and coming through. Rosemary Nixon is unflinching and clear-eyed, a brave stylist who does what the very best writers always do – she sees with her heart. Kalila is a gift.”
— Lisa Moore author, Alligator

“Reader, be humble. You are about to read greatness. You are about to cry, to rejoice. You are about to read a story that lifts our mortal lives into lamentation and wisdom and rapture and love. Death, where is thy sting?”
— Robert Kroetsch author, The Man from the Creeks

Kalila is fearless. Nixon’s sentences are taut; her chapters snap with vivid crispness. With never a wasted word nor superfluous embellishment, the story pulls with tension and tenderness, and jabs the reader in a deep and terribly human vein.”
— Steven Ross-Smith author, Fluttertongue: Book Three: Disarray

“Rosemary Nixon has given readers characters to remember . . . In a tightly compressed novel with short snappy sentences and moments and phrases of poetic precision we have a heart-wrenching story with just enough humour to lighten the darkness. Using sources as diverse as The Little Prince, the Bible, hymns, traditional songs and the laws of physics, Nixon explores what it is to believe. Believe this: Kalila is a fine gem of a novel.”
— Victor Enns The Winnipeg Review