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Sunday May 27, 2012 in Books
Four seasons after her husband Tom’s disappearance, Colette remains emotionally paralyzed, isolated in a country cottage. She waits in anguish, not knowing whether he is dead or alive, but clinging to hope. A young stranger in a jean jacket waves to her from the frozen lake – a sign? She emerges to give him her husband’s parka – strangely, the boy has a likeness to Tom.
What is the stranger’s connection to her geologist husband, kidnapped more than a year before by leftist guerrillas in Colombia? How does this slyly seductive young stranger happen to show up at her home in rural Ontario, thousands of miles away? He seems to know more about Colette than he should, and as he slowly insinuates himself into her life, Colette’s attentive sister, Evelyn, and her helpful
neighbour Bill become increasingly alarmed.
Part mystery, part moving story of vanished love, In Absentia explores the notion of disappearance, articulated in very personal terms. Through the tough, time-shifting action of the play, Colette reflects on her marriage and past love, offering rich associative memories while also uncovering the hidden and inaccessible – that which is made to disappear from view.
Guilt and grief, infidelity and infertility, loss and longing are the deeper subjects Panych explores here. At the same time, the play examines the desire to make connections in life – thoughts to deeds, intentions to outcomes – in scenes often enlivened by the playwright’s trademark humour.
Cast of 3 men and 2 women.
ISBN 13: 9780889227026 | ISBN 10: 889227020
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 128 pages
$17.95 CAN / $17.95 US
Backlist | Drama | Bisac: DRA013000
QUOTES OF NOTE
“This mystery story is a powerful meditation on the nature of lost love and grief, depicting a woman whose dire circumstances force her into deep contemplation of her marriage.”
– McGill Daily
“As heavy as it sounds and affecting as it is, [the play] has an uplifting vibrancy coming from an embracing narrative … While the story deals with profound loss, it’s much more about the redemptive power of love than the difficult process of grief.”
– Sacramento Bee
About the ContributorsMorris Panych
Playwright, actor and director Morris Panych has been described as “a man for all seasons in Canadian theatre.” He has appeared in over fifty theatre productions and in numerous television and film roles. He has directed more than ninety productions and written over a dozen plays that have been translated and produced throughout the world. He has twice won the Governor General’s Award and has won the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award fourteen times for acting and directing. He has also been nominated six times for Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore Award and three times for the Chalmers Award. His classic 7 Stories ranks 9th among the ten best selling plays in Canada, outselling the Coles version of Romeo & Juliet.
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.