The Greats by Sylvain Prudhomme, Translated by Jessica Moore
Winner of the 2015 Prix Littéraire de la Porte Dorée
Winner of the 2014 Prix Georges Brassens
Guinea-Bissau, 2012. Sylvain Prudhomme re-imagines the famous ’70s music group Super Mama Djombo, as seen through the eyes of Couto, the laconic guitarist. After learning of the death of the singer, Dulce—once the love of his life—Couto wanders through the capital city, from bar to bar, friend to friend. Thirty years file past in his memories: of the woman he loved, of guerillas fighting against Portuguese colonizers, and of the golden days of a legendary band that played all over the world with a sound that was new, fresh, and driven by the pride of an entire country.
The tension mounts as the group frantically prepares a final concert in Dulce’s honour, which must take place in just 24 hours. Little do they know, a coup d’ état is about to take place, executed by Dulce’s husband, Guinea-Bissau’s Army Chief of Staff.
Sylvain Prudhomme’s The Greats, translated by award-winning wordsmith Jessica Moore, is a novel of mourning, love, and the thirst for justice that tells the story of a population who knew hope and independence but now live under the oppressive rule of an army dictatorship.
Blood Fable by Oisín Curran
Maine, 1980. A utopian community is on the verge of collapse. The charismatic leader’s authority teeters as
his followers come to realize they’ve been exploited for too long. To make matters worse, the eleven-year-old son of one adherent learns that his mother has cancer.
Taking refuge in his imagination, the boy begins to speak of another time and place. His parents believe he is remembering his own life before birth. This memory, a story within the story of Blood Fable, is an epic tale about the search for a lost city refracted through the lens of the adventures the boy loves to read. But strangely, as the world around them falls apart, he and his parents find that his story seems to foretell the events unfolding in their present lives.
Sports and Pastimes by Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard, Translated by Aimee Wall
Inspired by Erik Satie’s work of the same name, Sports and Pastimes is the first novel by acclaimed Montreal playwright and author Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard to appear in English.
Translated by Aimee Wall, this fast-paced story follows the daily life, at once empty and overloaded, of a group of friends who spend all their energy trying to distract themselves with huge hits of endorphins, art and various substances, navigating pleasure and boredom, the extraordinary and the banal, as (more or less) worthy representatives of the best and worst of what their era has to offer. Consider a mashup of HBO’s Girls and Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero and you are pretty close to the fun and games of Sports and Pastimes.
The Third Person by Emily Anglin
Two’s company, three’s a crowd—and sometimes it’s more than that.
In The Third Person, a collection of uncanny short stories by Emily Anglin, a sequence of tense professional and personal negotiations between two people is complicated when a third person arrives. Within these triangulated microworlds, disorienting gaps open up between words and reality: employees dissolve from job titles, neighbours overstep comfortable boundaries, voices distanced by space or time make their presence felt. Uneasiness builds among these separate but entangled lives.
Anglin’s darkly humorous stories contemplate situations in which characters refashion themselves to fit a new competitive milieu. The Third Person reveals how people can become complicit in these milieus, even desire them, often while being led into the loneliness they can instil.