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Monday July 21, 2014 in Books
In this prequel within a sequel, Diminuenda discovers that she stands to win a vast inheritance from her estranged father, the inimitable Minor, if she travels into the past and “collects” a number of objets d’art.
The cheeky diva travels to classical Greece, becoming the subject of the very painting she must steal as well as the focus of a Platonic dialogue. In ancient Rome, she dines with Emperor Tiberius and several Latin poets at his notorious grotto in Capri before stirring up more unrest among feuding Icelanders and First Nations as Minordis, the mysterious woman who steals the heart of the troublesome poet Loki. She then appears as a goddess to Botticelli in Renaissance Florence, but is soon toying with the Neoplatonic leanings of Lorenzo de’ Medici as they wait out the aftermath of an assassination attempt, sharing a saucy round of Boccaccio-esque tales. In the realm of Louis XIV, Diminuenda lurks behind an unfinished play that explores the tension between Molière and the court composer Lulli, whose operatic innovations sound an ominous note for his cohort’s splenetic invectives and social critique. In the most popular era for the epistolary novel, Augusta Ada Byron (Lovelace) is trying to cut down on laudanum, convinced of visits from the enigmatic Enchantress who will not only help her explain Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, but also encourage her opium-fuelled hopes to bequeath to future generations a “Calculus of the Nervous System.” Then, in WWII Britain, Agent D MINOR moves through a murky nouveau roman seemingly ruled by Alan Turing’s theory of contradictions amid ill-fated schemes by MI5, including adaptations of Aleister Crowley’s occultism, falcons trained to hunt homing pigeons, and brilliant forgeries of works such as Vermeer’s The Art of Painting that will beguile the Third Reich.
Minor Expectations resumes The Chaos! Quincunx novel series.
ISBN 13: 9780889228917 | ISBN 10: 0889228914
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 232 pages
$16.95 CAN / $16.95 US
Backlist | Fiction
QUOTES OF NOTE
“[Morse’s] Minor Expectations is a feat of literary mischief, a ‘romanticone’ in which a playful Pan syncs his flute among various ‘novel’ genres: historical fiction, science fiction, lyric poetry, and theatre. A narrator eloquently flouts to the jocular, celebrating wit and frolic, revelling in the pervasive details of literature’s epic moments within literary epochs. The multitude of identifications, both literally and figuratively, are layered, clever and complex – cross threads pinned over a star map. There is so much about this book that made me smile and laugh! From a brazen and perverse parody to variations on time collapse, the peregrinations of fledgling heroine Diminuenda Minor take the reader on a quest that evinces not only sophisticated sensibilities of a-muse-ment and arousal but also of existence itself.”
– Sonia Di Placido, author of Exaltation in Cadmium Red
“In this entertaining, clever, genre-busting romp, Morse steers his courageous protagonist along a treacherous journey through time, weaving within the fast-moving plot references to classical literature, famous philosophers and ancient myths.”
– Melanie Schnell, author of While The Sun Is Above Us
About the ContributorsGarry Thomas Morse
Garry Thomas Morse’s poetry books with LINEBooks include Transversals for Orpheus and Streams. His poetry books with Talonbooks include After Jack and Discovery Passages (finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, one of the Globe and Mail_’s Top Ten Poetry Collections of 2011, and one of CBC’s 8th Fire’s Best Ten Aboriginal Books from the past decade). Morse’s books of fiction include his collection _Death in Vancouver, and the three books in The Chaos! Quincunx series, Minor Episodes / Major Ruckus (2013 ReLit Award finalist), Rogue Cells / Carbon Harbour (2014 ReLit Award finalist), and Minor Expectations, all published by Talonbooks.
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.