Nominated for the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award for Translation
All sorts of things can happen, no matter what road you take, and I never forget that. Death in particular can never be forgotten. Since Rudi’s death, I have tried to anticipate and dodge obstacles like an Olympic skier. My agile imagination glides between the little red flags with ease. Philippe’s imagination is both infnite and inflexible. It’s a dangerous combination. He stays planted on the ground while looking down over reality. Between us, we do a good job of imagining everything that could happen.
I figured I shouldn’t tell him the news: your hairdresser hanged herself in her salon.
Ana and her son, Philippe, are grieving the loss of Philippe’s father when Philippe’s hairstylist, Kimi, dies in an apparent suicide. Driven by a force she doesn’tunderstand, Ana starts digging into Kimi’s past in Guyana in 1978, which leads to nested tales of north and south, past and present, and to the Jonestown Massacre. A stunning translation of a masterpiece by one of Quebec’s most important novelists.
"Guyana reads like a poetic mystery novel, from its claustrophobic beginning that then builds to a finale that is frankly so astonishing I don’t dare give anything away.�* — La Presse
"This beautiful book is traversed by a kind of love that curves sentences in such a way that they go right to the heart and from there slowly make their way into our thoughts. Reading Elise Turcotte is not only a pleasure but a way to connect with one of the best writers of a new generation in Quebec." — Nicole Brossard (on The Sound of Living Things)
"Reading Elise Turcotte's The Alien House is a little like overhearing the thoughts of one of Ingmar Bergman's nearly silent film heroines … leaves you feeling like you've touched on something profound yet unexplainable." — Quill & Quire