Guyana

By Elise Turcotte
Translated by Rhonda Mullins

Guyana
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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 ... Read more


Overview

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 inï¬?*nite 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 ï¬?*lling the realm of the possible.

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.

Rhonda Mullins

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator. She received the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Twenty-One Cardinals, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Les héritiers de la mine. And the Birds Rained Down, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was a CBC Canada Reads Selection. It was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, as were her translations of Élise Turcotte’s Guyana and Hervé Fischer’s The Decline of the Hollywood Empire. Rhonda currently lives in Montréal.

Reviews

"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

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