All That Sang
Obsession, unrequited passions and the power of music.
A visceral tale of obsession and creativity, unrequited passions and the power of music. A love story in which art is a foil to companionship, and the intellect an interlocutor of the heart.
In the utterly unique All that Sang, the second fiction by Lambda Literary Award-finalist Lydia Perovi?, a Toronto opera critic on assignment in Paris falls in love with the subject she’s been sent to interview, France’s leading female conductor. But is the attention evenly matched, is genuine connection even possible?
Perovi? guides us through the panorama that orbits contemporary courtship. The jilted lover, the housekeeper, the chiropractor, the manager, all take part in a chorus of voices that illustrate the unknowable creative spirit whose inaccessibility fires the writer’s obsession.
Reminiscent of the bold and inventive fictions of Ali Smith and Siri Hustvedt, postmodern refractions play with the reader’s sense of perspective to build the persona of affection, a figure of reality and imagination that we all recognize but can never truly access.
“This kaleidoscopic love story – told from many angles in elegant, crystalline prose – creates a world that holds the reader skillfully in between. Between Toronto and Paris, music and listening, lust and loss. Unrequited and erotic, All That Sang is a story of longing beautifully sent to us in the manner that only true longing can convey.’ –Jacob Wren, author of Polyamorous Love Song
The Goddess of Fireflies
Winner, 2015 Archambault Prize
The year is 1996, and small-town life for 14-year-old Catherine is made up of punk rock, skaters, shoplifting, drugs, and the ghost of Kurt Cobain. Her parents are too busy divorcing to pay her headful of unspent angst much attention. But after she tries a PCP variant called mesc for the first time, her budding rebellion begins to spiral out of control. Acclaimed as the modern-day coming-of-age story for a generation of Québécois youth growing up in the 1990s, Geneviève Pettersen’s award-winning debut novel both shocked and titillated readers in its original French, who quickly ordained it a contemporary classic and a runaway bestseller.
Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, the hotly tipped Québécois director behind Inch-Allah (2012), is currently adapting the story to film. Now Esplanade Books is honored to present The Goddess of Fireflies to English readers for the first time in a powerful translation from award-winning novelist Neil Smith, author of Boo and Bang Crunch.
"In The Goddess of Fireflies Geneviève Pettersen has assembled a narrator who will pull you, willing or not, through her swaggering, fumbling coming of age. A melange of blasé toughness and menacing vulnerability, Catherine and her story will resonate deeply with those of us who grew up in the 90s of Cobain, cocaine, and 18-hole Doc Martens, but it's a universal tale too: the raw scramble of a young woman on the brink. –Anna Leventhal, author of Sweet Affliction
“I really loved The Goddess of Fireflies, where the presence of the Saguenay is made to be as significant as that of Montreal.” –Michel Tremblay
Swing in the House and Other Stories
“This is a wise, assured and wonderfully intelligent collection that announces the arrival of an exciting new talent.” -Dennis Bock, author of Going Home Again
“These stories have this quiet fire, these cool fire surprises, stylish moves done deftly by a writer with light touch and dark intentions.” - Cary Tennis, author of Citizens of the Dream
“These stories are full of undercurrents that disturb the surface, and these disturbances, in their turn, dazzle as they reflect light.” - Elise Moser, author of Lily and Taylor and Because I Have Loved and Hidden It.
“Anand’s writing—natural, inquisitive and generously circumstantial—gives gravitas to our individual abnormalities. She exhumes the truth found in the liminality of life, as if saying what you experience is not the same as what I experience but we are both drowning in the same invisible panic.” –Anupa Mistry, National Post
“Full of sparely drawn yet complex characters, and situations that are equal parts poignant and absurd, these stories repeatedly demonstrate a rare knack for tackling heavy subjects—race and racism, identity, infidelity, mental illness—without heavy-handedness.”–Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette
“In all of her stories, Anand shows a keen awareness and desire to begin conversations about identity politics and thinly-veiled aggressions and prejudices, especially as they relate to intimate relationships. Overall, this collection is cohesive and rhythmic, and showcases a unique, perceptive, and sensitive narrative voice.” –Jess Shane, Broken Pencil
“This is an impressive first collection.”–Toronto Star