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House of Anansi Press

The Outside Circle

A Graphic Novel

Written by Patti LaBoucane-Benson • Illustrated by Kelly Mellings

Published April 25, 2015 | ISBN 9781770899384

Cover of The Outside Circle

Regular price $16.95 CAD

128 pages | 10.00 in × 6.69 in
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

The Outside Circle

A Graphic Novel

Patti LaBoucane-Benson • Kelly Mellings

Winner, CODE’s 2016 Burt Award for First Nation, Inuit and Métis Literature

In this important graphic novel, two Aboriginal brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives.

Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Aboriginal healing circles and ceremonies.

Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Aboriginal men.

Awards and Praise
. . . the story becomes one of hope, not only for Pete, but for all aboriginal people healing from the intergenerational wounds of Canadian colonialism.
  • Short-listed In the Margins Top Fiction Award, 2016
  • Winner CODE’s 2016 Burt Award for First Nation, Inuit and Métis Literature, 2016