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The Bicycle Eater
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Monday March 29, 2010 in Books

The Bicycle Eater

By Larry Tremblay
Translated by Sheila Fischman

Singularly obsessed with his all-consuming passion for Anna, the object of his adolescent desire, the photographer Christophe Langelier is beside himself. Ten years ago, he failed the test of eating a bicycle for her as proof of his love and devotion. Since then, he has created a photographic catalogue of his only model, complete with a glossary, an “Anna-lexique,” in which the darkness and the light of her idealized being have shaded his language, even as her ubiquitous image has crowded out his own identity.

Desperate to escape his unrequited love for Anna, Christophe flees to the Island of Women off the coast of Mexico. There, he sacrifices his former self and begins his transformation from a man possessed to a man confused.

The Bicycle Eater is a comic, surrealist novel of metamorphosis unleashed by hopeless desire, a riotous, colourful burlesque where nothing and no one remain what they seem.

ISBN 13: 9780889225282 | ISBN 10: 889225281
6 W x 9 H x 1 D inches | 224 pages
$19.95 CAN / $17.95 US
Rights: World
Backlist | Fiction | Bisac: FIC019000

QUOTES OF NOTE

"Larry Tremblay’s broad experience as a playwright is evident in The Bicycle Eater, a novel which breathes theatricality. Things and people are never quite what they seem in this gender-bending ride through the topsy-turvy tunnels of 27-year-old photographer Christophe Langelier’s obsession with Anna … This is also a good book for anyone who appreciates the surreal. There is something poetic about the way the narrative slips back and forth as easily as a dream, transcending the limits of linear thinking. Some of the monologues delivered by Tremblay’s quirky cast of characters have words flooding the page in a sparkling stream of consciousness, gushing with metaphysical musings. And what gorgeous images are rendered."
Montreal Review of Books

"The most memorable novel I’ve read lately … I found it an eerily seductive tale of desire and transformation. Tremblay’s magical language leads us through consumptive anguish, into surreal burlesque, onward to a fierce reality."
— Christopher Willard, novelist and art critic (quoted in the Calgary Herald and Ottawa Citizen)

"Extravagance drives this book, and by sheer tenacity finally vaults it beyond the range of critical harping … Tremblay’s story unfolds in paroxysms of the improbable, straddling dreamland and reality."
Globe and Mail

"A superb translation of Larry Tremblay’s wonderfully surreal 2002 novel."
Hour

"Sheila Fischman demonstrates her skill and creativity in rendering this intense work, full of wordplay and inventiveness. Her translation consistently maintains the author’s distinctive humour and intellectual detachment."

— 2006 Governor General’s Literary Awards Jury

AWARDS

Finalist for the 2006 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation

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).

Sheila Fischman

Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Sheila Fischman was raised in Ontario and is a graduate of the University of Toronto. She is a founding member of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada and has also been a columnist for the Globe and Mail and Montreal Gazette, a broadcaster with CBC Radio, and literary editor of the Montreal Star. She now devotes herself full time to literary translation, specializing in contemporary Quebec fiction, and has translated more than 125 Quebec novels by, among others, Michel Tremblay, Jacques Poulin, Anne Hébert, François Gravel, Marie-Claire Blais, and Roch Carrier.

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