Impurity

By Larry Tremblay
Translated by Sheila Fischman

Impurity
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Bestselling author Alice Livingstone is dead. She leaves her philosopher husband, Antoine, to deal with her legacy, towards which he feels increasingly estranged. Confronted with his wife’s much-reported disappearance, Antoine revisits their past relationship: open and liberal ... Read more


Overview

Bestselling author Alice Livingstone is dead. She leaves her philosopher husband, Antoine, to deal with her legacy, towards which he feels increasingly estranged. Confronted with his wife’s much-reported disappearance, Antoine revisits their past relationship: open and liberal on the outside, but constrained and deviant on the inside. The news of the day (the death of JFK Jr. , the self-immolation of a Buddhist monk), which plays on the television running in the novel’s background, gradually becomes significant in the lives of the protagonists – as revealed in Alice’s mysterious, posthumous last novel, A Pure Heart. Bit by bit, as we move closer to the novel’s centre, its narrators lose reliability; their discourses and pretenses become more and more confused, fragmentary, and misleading. Good intentions become corrupted and appearances prove to be deceiving. Impurity’s conclusion is as gripping as it
is asphyxiating.

 

After his masterpieces The Orange Grove and The Obese Christ, Larry Tremblay, one of Québec’s most accomplished novelists and playwrights of the last two decades, offers his readers a riveting mystery, a self-reflective enigma whose decoding places on trial the
literary form itself.

 

A playful and macabre narrative tour de force, Impurity weaves a fascinating web of interlocking narratives in an epistolary puzzle connecting forms with voices, and voices with revelations.

Reviews

“I thoroughly enjoyed the interlocking layers of this book. Entertaining and complex, Impurity invites a second reading between the lines. ” —Patricia Sandberg, miramichireader. com

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