Harry Whitehead worked for many years in film and TV production. He has masters degrees in creative writing and medical anthropology, and a PhD from Lancaster University. He has had a number of short stories and essays published, and teaches creative writing at the University of Leicester. THE CANNIBAL SPIRIT is his first novel and he is writing a second for Hamish Hamilton Canada.
'George Hunt, the protagonist of British author Harry Whitehead's debut novel, makes quite a first impression...a powerful novel. THE CANNIBAL SPIRIT is a compelling, complex novel, free of caricature and facile responses to its subject matter...Whitehead has created a unique work that immerses the reader in a culture at a crisis point. Unflinching and rigorously unsentimental, THE CANNIBAL SPIRIT is a thought-provoking and impressive read.' -- Robert J. Wiersema, Quill & Quire
'Powerful, ambitious ...The plot, which includes hand-to-hand combat, vivid dreams and seeming magic, guilty secrets galore and death-defying oceanic canoe travel, is fast-paced and full of surprises. The text is ornamented with lyrically beautiful descriptions of the British Columbia coast. ... Whitehead has a keen eye for the contradictions and tumults of his characters' inner lives, and he weaves the voices of several characters into a compelling psychological portrait of a people on the brink of ruin. His characters, first nations, mixed race and European, are all persuasively drawn ...This is a brave and ambitious book that sets out to retrieve lost history and turn it into high literature.' -- Tom Sandborne, Globe and Mail