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Piercing
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Friday January 1, 2010 in Books

Piercing

By Larry Tremblay
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

In “The Axe” a literature professor arrives at the door of one of his students in the middle of the night. On his way he has stumbled (with a flask of whiskey) through the pouring rain, stopping in a city park to vandalize the statue of an angel, tormented by the image of his life’s work, ninety-seven poems he has left behind in flames in his apartment. The student has turned in an assignment (which the professor has brought along in his briefcase): a carefully wrapped hatchet.

In “Piercing” a teenage runaway, Marie-Hélène, seeks to escape the mediocrity of her small-town family life, only to end up in a very different kind of urban “family,” a cult of dominance and body piercing presided over by Kevin, the maimed and orphaned son of a millionaire. They live in a church converted into luxury condos, with a strange ageless and toothless woman who plays guardian to him and his test-tube son Raphael: a twenty- year-old computer nerd working on an MA thesis on securitization.

In “Anna on the Letter C” a lonely, virginal typist transcribing the “c” words for a dictionary project lives just blocks away from the church where Rasputin-like Kevin holds court. But her world is not inhabited by the angels and demons of “Piercing.”
Taking pity on a middle-aged stalker (a seedy, sweating chain-smoker, retired from his job as a projectionist in soft-core porn cinemas), she invites him to her apartment for tea. As they sit, awkwardly making conversation, she confesses that she is a virgin. Her feelings for him waver between repulsion and compassion. His desire for her is palpable as heat lightning flashes in the summer night.

ISBN 13: 9780889226456 | ISBN 10: 0889226458
5.5 W x 8.5 H x 0.75 D inches | 128 pages
$17.95 CAN / $17.95 US
Rights: World
Backlist | Fiction | Bisac: DRA013000
1 Paperback Edition

QUOTES OF NOTE

"What lingers is a degree of delight at Tremblay’s ability not so much to weave a storyline as to unravel one with such finesse …"
Toronto Sun

About the Contributors

Larry Tremblay

Larry Tremblay is a writer, director, actor and specialist in Kathakali, an elaborate dance theatre form which he has studied on numerous trips to India. He has published twenty books as a playwright, poet, novelist and essayist, and is one of Quebec’s most-produced and translated playwrights (his plays have been translated into twelve languages).

Linda Gaboriau

Linda Gaboriau is an award-winning literary translator based in Montreal.

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