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    ISBN: 9780889226807 | Paperback

    160 pages | Pub. Date: 20120415
    5.5 W × 8.50 H × 0.4 D inches
    Backlist | Fiction | Bisac: FIC019000
    Rights: WORLD

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Martine Desjardins delivers to readers of Maleficium the unexpurgated revelations of Vicar Jerome Savoie, a heretic priest in nineteenth-century Montreal. Braving threats from the Catholic Church, Savoie violates the sanctity of the confessional in a confession-within-a-confession, in which seven penitents, each afficted with a debilitating malady or struck with a crippling deformity, relates his encounter with an enigmatic young woman whose lips bear a striking scar.

As these men penetrate deep into the exotic Orient, each falls victim to his own secret vice. One treks through Ethiopia in search of wingless locusts. Another hunts for fly-whisks among the clove plantations of Zanzibar. Yet others bargain for saffron in a Srinagar bazaar, search for the rarest frankincense, and pursue the coveted hawksbill turtle in the Sea of Oman. Two more seek the formula for sabon Nablus in Palestine or haggle over Persian carpets in the royal gardens of Shiraz. The men’s individual forms of punishment, revealed through the agency of the young woman, are wrought upon their bodies.

Winner 2013 Sunburst Award

Short-listed 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award (French Fiction)

Winner 2010 Prix Jacques Brossard

Short-listed 2010 Prix des libraires du Québec

2010 Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie

“[Martine Desjardins] has dared to write a book unlike any other, dipping her pen in the ink of a bygone day, before nature and its mysteries had been deciphered; when desire loomed with dark and frightening power. The result is an extraordinary festival of the senses.”

“The collection of confessions takes a deliciously strange approach to remembering and retelling the past. In an unexpected twist near the end, an eighth perspective adds compelling backstory and transports readers to new terrain altogether.”
—Quill & Quire

“Lust, greed, retribution, and shame — Maleficium reads like a flesh-bound catalogue of my favourite sins ... An intensely pleasurable work that builds, tale by exotic tale, to a dark climax. Forgive me, Father: I loved it.”
—Jenn Farrell

By Martine Desjardins

Martine Desjardins was born in the Town of Mount Royal, Québec, in 1957. She worked as an assistant editor-in-chief at ELLE Québec magazine for four years before leaving to devote herself to writing. Her first novel, Le cercle de Clara, was published by Leméac in 1997, and was nominated for both the Prix littéraires du Québec and the Grand prix des lectrices de ELLE Québec in 1998. Desjardins currently lives in the Town of Mount Royal. In her free time, she paints miniature models of ruins overgrown with vegetation.

Read more about Martine Desjardins

Translated by Fred A. Reed

International journalist and award-winning literary translator Fred A. Reed is also a respected specialist on politics and religion in the Middle East. Reed is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Award for translation.

Read more about Fred A. Reed

Translated by David Homel

Award-winning author and literary translator David Homel also works as a journalist, editor and screenwriter.

Read more about David Homel

news | 2014-01-28
Join the Conversation!

…Kenny is – rightfully, we think – enamoured of Maleficium by Martine Desjardins: Please tell Martine … Desjardins I love MALEFICIUM. It should be everyone's new favorite book. …

news | 2013-10-04
Celebrating Translators, the Too-Often Unsung Heroes of World Literature

…the recent receipt of the 2013 Sunburst Award by Maleficium , a novel by Martine Desjardins (which we are … is never far from our minds. The translation of Maleficium, in addition to winning the Sunburst Award, also …

news | 2013-09-19
Talonbooks Author Martine Desjardins Wins 2013 Sunburst Award

…We are pleased to announce Maleficium , a novel by Martine Desjardins, as the recipient … its 2013 winner of the adult category as Maleficium by Quebec author Martine Desjardins. Translated … Roden and Leon Rooke. Here’s what they said about Maleficium: “Gorgeous and multilayered, Maleficium is a … to subvert the pattern by the final chapter.” Maleficium is Desjardins’s fourth novel. It also won the …

news | 2013-08-09
500 Talon Ebooks Sold!

…been producing ebooks since 2011. The first was Maleficium by Martine Desjardins, and now approximately 60 …

news | 2013-07-22
Short-listed for the Sunburst Awards: Maleficium by Martine Desjardins!

…Finton Moon by Gerard Collins (Killick Press) Maleficium by Martine Desjardins; translated by Fred A. Reed …

news | 2012-05-10

…translation of Martine Desjardin’s novel Maleficium, which has already being reprinted, due to …