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Wednesday August 17, 2011 in Books
This tell-all book by M.A.C. Farrant, whom Publishers Weekly has celebrated as “a brave iconoclast” and whose work the Globe and Mail has said, “Farrant’s work bristles with moral fury, a love of and a close look at language, the absurdities of our accelerated age and a great dose of laugh-out-loud humour,” offers her readers nothing less than The Strange Truth About Us.
A three-part novel-length work of prose fragments, snippets, questions, speculations and meditations, by turns philosophical, dark, comedic and lyrical, it attempts to imagine a multitude of possible futures for our garrisoned world.
“Annotations About an Absence” is a series of 115 numbered annotations to the day-long ruminations of a retired couple living in a gated community attempting to create an imaginary novel in which they express their fears about the future: “We attempt to express the universal confusion of mind that is the main feature of contemporary life. Which is? We are afraid.”
“Woman Records Brief Notes Regarding Absence” is written as a series of notes to these annotations, providing (in the utterly blank spirit of transparency) a running satiric narrative on the project. Each of these “notes” is written as if it were a description of a late-night TV movie or the content of a wet Jehovah’s Witness pamphlet left on a woman’s doorstep that has taken hold of her mind.
“Other Prose Surrounding Absence” comprises twenty-seven prose pieces that take aim at a globalized world bludgeoned by the threat of “end times”—climate change, species extinction, pandemics and really bad politics—that seem designed insofar as we are able to retain our status as “individuals.”
Unique in style and approach, engaging, enigmatic, controversial and delightful, this book is an attempt to prick the bubble of our complacency in the face of the “awful atrocity” we’ve made for ourselves.
ISBN 13: 9780889226685 | ISBN 10: 889226687
5.5 W x 8.5 H x .55 D inches | 216 pages
$16.95 CAN / $16.95 US
Backlist | Fiction | Bisac: FIC029000
QUOTES OF NOTE
“The Strange Truth About Us is impossible to summarize, save to say that it is both an acknowledgment of and an antidote to all the uncertainty we must shoulder in this, our age of anxiety and absence. Delightful and disturbing in all the best ways, this book addresses that which mostly remains unspoken in ways that have seldom been spoken before.”
– Globe and Mail
“One thing is sure: the format invites – if not demands – us to dip into the book again and again for insights that are funny, timely, provocative and unsettling.”
– Prairie Fire Review of Books
“The Strange Truth About Us is shot through with Farrant’s subversive wit, her acute sense of irony, As well as being poetic and thought-provoking, it is quite funny.”
– Victoria Times Colonist
“Farrant pulls you into the absence, scrapes you around the side of it, and spits you back out, confused and satisfied. … her prose tends to be acerbic and funny, a little jarring, and her stories are constructed to resonate with the reader long after the book is done. The Strange Truth About Us left me feeling unsettled and slightly anxious, but in a way that felt necessary. It is well worth the read.”
“a novel, a memoir, a prose poem, a reading list, a note book, a book of quotations, a manifesto. It’s a work of intellectual speculation on what the world is going to look like in a few years. … experimental, brave, daring, unusual, brilliant.”
– J.S. Porter
One of the Top Twenty-Three Canadian Fiction Books of 2012 (Globe and Mail)
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.