Life's Undercard is a gritty and entertaining memoir that chronicles the life experience of a young biracial boy named Michael, growing up in 1940s and 50s Montreal. Born to an Irish prostitute and a Jamaican stevedore, sent to a French Catholic orphanage, and later adopted by a Cherokee woman from Nova Scotia, Michael struggles in a world divided by race, class, and language and finds solace in unlikely places: boxing gyms and pool halls.

Michael takes readers on a riveting journey, navigating the subcultures of Montreal; White and Black, French and English, lawful and criminal, all the while revealing his resilience, street-smarts, and natural charm. In the face of discrimination, poverty, and personal challenges, Michael arrives with the reader at an awareness of his place in society.

Life's Undercard offers a unique perspective on the complexities of race relations, socioeconomic disparity, and the struggle for identity in mid-20th century Canada. With themes that resonate across generations and cultures, this memoir is an engaging tribute to a child's will to endure. To read a little about our writing journey, visit this short blog post.

About Michael Joseph Montague


Michael Joseph Montague was born in the red-light district of Montreal, Quebec, in 1940. After being incarcerated in his late teens, Michael moved to New York City to pursue professional boxing. Having lived on the margins of society his entire life, Michael struggled with homelessness and addiction until joining AA in his 60's and turning his life around. Michael obtained his high school diploma at the age of 75 and started the process of writing about his childhood. Michael lives in Little Burgundy - the neighbourhood that factors heavily in his childhood memoir.