Breakwater May 2016
Patient and luminous, Night Ambulance is the story of a place on the cusp of change, where characters stand between coercive societal expectations and the right to decide their own fates.
Sixteen-year-old Rowena Savoury travels to St. John’s for a secret abortion. But in the early 1970s, the procedure is illegal, and after complications, Rowena finds herself in a hospital being questioned by a young constable uncertain of how to proceed. Though she doesn’t know it, Rowena’s decision will ripple through the lives of an entire cast of characters.
“Ruddock has a refined ear for dialogue and a mischievous sense of humour. He also knows how to bring a story to a memorable conclusion.”
-David Bezmozgis, The Journey Prize Anthology
How Lovetta Got Her Baby
Twenty-five short stories
A set of linked stories about growing up unsure of the world and trying to stand up straight, about love from afar and up close, love imagined, love going right and wrong and sideways, about being young and imperfect.
These stories are by turns funny, tender, sexy, painful, passionate, heartbreaking, and joyous: Ruddock writes with deft insight into who we are, and how we change.
“Nobody can mistake the ingenuity of Nicholas Ruddock, whose story, ‘The Steamer’, is a terrific read. Ruddock has talent to burn; he writes with verve and style.”
-Madeleine Thien, Prism International
“Accomplished, original, witty and wise, ‘The Housepainters’ is a wonderful piece of writing.”
-Helen Humphreys, The Antigonish Review
Shortlisted for the 2011 Toronto Book Award.
A "searingly smart and funny" novel about murder, sex, the medical establishment, poetry and vigilante justice on the streets of Toronto in 1975.
Told through interlacing narratives, the story funnels towards the eye of an unsolved crime: on a rainy summer night, a woman is raped and very nearly murdered, but for the intervention of two drunken vigilantes who kill her attacker before fleeing the scene. The only clue the police have about their identities: a slab of Crisco shortening found on the victim.
"Packed with smarts, wit, and the spirit of Roberto Bolaño, The Parabolist envisions Toronto as an antic place full of characters willing to go to the brink for good sex, good love or a good poem."
-Kyo Maclear, author of The Letter Opener
"Passionate, off-hand, deeply charming and deeply original.”
-Damian Tarnopolsky, author of Goya’s Dog
"The narrative is infused with the kind of intellectual energy and playfulness that is woefully lacking in so much Canadian fiction."
-Quill & Quire
"The Parabolist is an inventive, poetic, and thoroughly wonderful book."
-Vincent Lam, author of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
“With dazzling skill, Ruddock blends his intricate knowledge of medicine into an exciting, compelling, and expertly layered mystery."
-Anthony De Sa, author of Barnacle Love