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Monday March 22, 2010 in Books
Down the Road to Eternity: New & Selected Fiction is a collection of M.A.C. Farrant’s work dating from 1985 to 2009. Compiled of selected fiction from Sick Pigeon (1991), Raw Material (1993), Altered Statements (1995), Word of Mouth (1996), What’s True, Darling (1997), Darwin Alone in the Universe (2003) and The Breakdown So Far (2007), it includes her complete new suite of eighteen stories, The North Pole, where our individual existence is bludgeoned by the threat of “end times”—climate change, species extinction, pandemics, and really bad politics. Each of these stories is an ongoing instance of the author’s attempt at understanding language ironically, a search for the strikingly sublime in the awesomely absurd.
Objective reality in our culture has become a corporate performance of make-believe, and the disassociation and confusion this causes in our private lives often triggers uncontrollable tragi-comic effects in Farrant’s characters—a vacuous lethargy and/or a destructive violence they act out in a context of the most excruciatingly bright banalities imaginable.
Satiric and philosophical in approach, indelibly marked by wit, humour, irony, playfulness, a blend of parody and science fiction, irreverent analysis and comic existentialism, these stories celebrate the literary imagination as an antidote to the stranglehold the popular media now has on the public’s imagination. Yet as in all such relentlessly absurdist dystopian social parodies, there resides behind each of these brief entertainments a stifled scream for help, a trapped yearning for the awe and wonder of what we have become estranged from, an arrested lust for meaning.
Unsparing in her critique of the branded New Age syncretism our global culture has substituted for authentic human emotion and particular belief, these hilariously off-side stories navigate Farrant’s exploration of the relation of fiction to the evolving construction of reality in our media and information age.
ISBN 13: 9780889226159 | ISBN 10: 889226159
5.5 W x 8.5 H x 0.48 D inches | 288 pages
$19.95 CAN / $19.95 US
| Fiction | Bisac: FIC029000
QUOTES OF NOTE
"Farrant has a lightness of touch, and her writing is not too charmed by its own cleverness; she achieves something quite tricky there. With an eye to the world that is somewhat aslant, her stories cannot nestle neatly into the forms usually associated with realism, and the formats she chooses are refreshing: at her best, it feels as if she is getting at the heart of something that takes other writers much longer to lead us to." — Canadian Literature
“Farrant, it appears, will offer satire, surrealism and silliness to guide us through the rogue waves of reality toward a shore called Meaning. The stories are full of changing ideas and scenarios, and contain worlds. The reader might want to pick at these stories slowly, however, as they are extremely rich.”
— Globe and Mail
“M.A.C. Farrant is a trapeze artist of the imagination, swinging over the existential void.”
— BC Bookworld
About the ContributorsM.A.C. Farrant
M.A.C. Farrant is the author of sixteen books: thirteen collections of satirical and philosophical short fiction; one novel, The Strange Truth About Us; a novel-length memoir, My Turquoise Years; a book of humorous essays, The Secret Lives of Litterbugs; and the stage adaptation of My Turquoise Years, which premiered at Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre in 2013.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.