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By Nathan Whitlock

“A Week of This is bleak, funny, sad, smart, and unlike any novel I have ever read. The lives of these characters are so richly imagined I could taste the furnace dust, smell the backed-up sewer, feel the thump of every hangover. It’s an authentic, unsentimental literary experiment that doesn’t read like an experiment. Nathan Whitlock has exposed the timeless heart of lower-middle-class everywhere.”
-Todd Babiak, author of The Book of Stanley and The Garneau Block


Whitlock_A Week of This

A brilliant, darkly comic, and startlingly honest novel, A Week of This follows the lives of an extended family over one increasingly desperate week. At the centre of the novel is 38-year-old Manda, a tough, sarcastic woman who has yet to make peace with the town she was brought to as a teenager after her parents’ messy divorce. Her estranged mother is crazy, her father is ill and in retreat, her damaged older brother is growing restless and distant, her stepbrother is a grown-up teenager without any real friends, and her husband is a tight-lipped, depressed store-owner who has been pressing Manda to have a baby.

Full of barbed dialogue and hilariously deadpan descriptions of family dynamics and the kind of awkward social dances that get performed every day, A Week of This is a book for people who always feel a little out of place, right where they are. People who are smart enough to know something has gone wrong, but can’t figure out how to fix it. People who know they aren’t kids anymore, but are not quite ready to grow up.

“A portrait of people in a small town so intimate that it feels like you are under the covers with them. Like Tom Perrotta’s Little Children, Whitlock examines the horror and grace of suburban life.”
-Heather O’Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals

“Bleak, funny, sad, smart, and unlike any novel I have ever read.”– Todd Babiak, author of Come Barbarians

“With this debut novel, Whitlock demonstrates a keen insight into the hearts of those living lives of quiet desperation, and deeper, into the fundamental truths of the human soul.”
-Rob Wiersema, author of Before I Wake

“A good novel can take you some place you’ve never been. But it takes a great one to take you some place you’ve been a thousand times and show it to you anew.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“Whitlock possesses a strong command of language and an easiness with metaphor; his characters are drawn evocatively, even when they act predictably.”

“Whitlock gives us so much “real life” here that the reader would cry, “Enough!” if his story weren’t so funny in places. It’s as if he’s transplanted a group of rough-edged, foul-mouthed “folk” from reality TV to the printed page and completely blown off the shallowness and the stereotypes attached to them. His characters are individuals with beating hearts and wounded histories and sentimental hopes for the future. Before long, we sink unresistingly into their stories.”
Vancouver Sun

“…with his first novel Nathan Whitlock has definitely found his voice…..any of the characters could be any one of us on any day of the week.”
Ottawa Citizen

“…filled with vibrant, gritty imagery and wondrously colourful turns of phrase….an ideal springtime read.”
Scene Magazine

What’s most impressive about the book is its sense of control … The pace is well maintained and the days pass quickly. Not, however, without having a powerful impact.”
The Waterloo Record

“Well-written and ripe for re-reading.”
The Danforth Review

Library Journal

“A Week of This is a compelling, sharply detailed picture of a part of the Canadian landscape that is at best stereotyped, and at worst ignored completely. From the mundane, Whitlock has pulled something refreshing and beautiful, something we can say about far too few Canadian writers today.”
Vue Weekly

“[The character of Manda is] an impressive and unsparingly true-to-life creation.”
The Globe and Mail

“Not your parents’ classic Canadian novel… A Week of This might be the truth.”
The Toronto Star

“Whitlock has an excellent grasp of metaphor and simile, and A Week of This is a highly polished novel.”
THIS magazine

“The novel is full of intimately suggestive details… A nod as well has to be given to the dialogue, especially the inventive and rhythmic way the characters swear. Some of the exchanges are laugh-out-loud funny.”
The Edmonton Journal

“…Whitlock translates his intelligence to fiction in the dry and acerbic A Week of This. Edgy earnestness is a tough act to pull off — most writers who try for “Springsteen” overshoot and crash out near “Billy Joel.” However, Whitlock’s no-nonsense debut focuses on the small details of a family driving itself nuts.”
Eye Weekly

“Weirdly enjoyable … Whitlock has such a fine knack for observational details that one can’t help but become engrossed. A Week of This is filled with engaging prose about the mundane.” –

“Whitlock takes four simple lives and puts a brilliant, page turning twist on each of them … The novel ends on Wednesday just as it had begun and it continues in the reader’s mind forever. A Week Of This is the life of each of us.” – Ottawa Xpress


ECW, Canada, Spring 2008