Death of a literary outsider

Lawrence Christopher Patrick (aka Ytzhak) Braithwaite (March 17, 1963 - 14 July 2008)[1] was a Canadian dub poet, novelist, spoken word artist, essayist, digital drummer and short fiction writer.

He is the author of the legendary cult novel, Wigger.[2]


Braithwaite was born in Montreal, Quebec, the youngest of 4 children.

He studied film at Dawson College.[3]

He spent 12 years as a clerk in the Canadian military. He was discharged after after an accident in which his leg was broken in several places.[3]

After having a story published in the anthology Queeries: An anthology of gay male prose, he moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where he wrote his 3 novels, as well as poetry and book reviews.[3]

He died at the age of 45, of an apparent suicide (though a suicide note was never found).[3]

He is buried in Notre-Dames-des-Neiges Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec.


Braithwaite has been called “one of the outstanding Canadian prose writers alive” (Gail Scott) and linked to the "New Narrative" movement,[4] a term coined by Steve Abbott.[5]. He utilized the intensity of the New York City No Wave scene and the Los Angeles and Montreal hardcore punk music subcultures to compose his narrative.

Braithwaite's work has been praised by Dodie Bellamy for its "sublime impenetrability".[6] and is fueled by a modernist and Fredric Jameson-influenced late modernist approach to writing and recording. His work draws influences from the musical and social realism of punk rock, opera, musique concrète, noise, hip hop, rap, industrial, black metal, country music and dub.



  • Wigger. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1995. ISBN 1-55152-020-6
  • Ratz Are Nice: PSP. Los Angeles: Alyson Books, 2000. ISBN 1-55583-554-6
  • Speed, Thrash, Death: Alamo, B.C. (illustrated by Krista E. McLean & Max). Plantation 13?, 1998.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[7]

Unpublished novelEdit

  • More at 7:30 (Notes from New Palestine).


  • Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art
  • Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian's Mirage #4/Period(ical)
  • Bluesprints: Anthology of Black British Columbian Literature and Orature *Redzone zine,
  • Of the Flesh: Dangerous Fiction
  • "Vanilla Primitive".[2] in the e-journal Sleepy Brain
  • Nocturnes 3 Review of the Literary Arts 2005
  • Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative
  • Sidebrow e-journal.[3] and [4]
  • New Standards: The First Decade of Fiction at Fourteen Hills.[5]
  • The World Crisis Web (ed. Danny Dayus) Revolution is Bloody
  • Black Ice. [6]
  • The Rain Review of Books[7]

Audio / videoEdit


See alsoEdit


  2. Lawrence Chua's PlanetOut review of Ratz Are Nice (PSP)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jason McBride, "Death of a Literary Outsider, Quill & Quire, December 2008. Aaron Vidaver blog, Wordpress, Web, Aug. 30, 2015.
  4. Gail Scott, “In the Future, Where Prose is Going”, Matrix 62: a special issue on New Narrative edited by Gail Scott and Corey Frost.
  5. Aleander Lawrence's Free Williamsburg interview with Dennis Cooper
  6. Dodie Bellamy, "Body Language", Academonia (San Francisco: Krupskaya, 2006): page 82; available online in Fascicle 2 (Winter 2005-2006) [1]
  7. Search results = au:Lawrence Braithwaite, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Aug. 30, 2015.

External linksEdit

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