The Beautiful Children
A man wakes up in a hospital with one word in his head: Sapporo. He dimly recalls this as the place where he was raised, and it becomes his name and identity. Like an immigrant without language or memory he relies on his young son as guide and interpreter, but soon drifts away ... Read more
A man wakes up in a hospital with one word in his head: Sapporo. He dimly recalls this as the place where he was raised, and it becomes his name and identity. Like an immigrant without language or memory he relies on his young son as guide and interpreter, but soon drifts away into what some might see as madness.
In Sapporo's floating world, he is also Prospero, summoning the ancestors and channeling the lost dreams that gave way to the modern industrial era.
His son, meanwhile, has escaped to the city's underworld. His laconic account of the anarchic, callous, tender tribe of street kids is beyond the scope of any realist fiction, yet compelling as a documentary and fiercely poetic.
Parallel to these worlds, and destined to reconnect them, is a young woman's journey through what is indeed the Third World - as surreal in its poverty and shifting realities as anything in Sapporo's visions or his son's predations.
The Beautiful Children is a triumph of language and structure; it is also a haunting, and haunted, elegy upon innocence.
Michael Kenyon was born in Sale, England, but has lived most of his life on the west coast of Canada. He works as a freelance editor, and has a therapy practice in process-oriented psychology and jin shin do bodymind acupressure. The author of seven books, he is primarily known as a fiction writer. In 1991 Brick Books published Rack of Lamb, a collection of prose poems. His work has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines, and has aired on CBC. For many years, he served on the editorial board of The Malahat Review.
"Not only does Kenyon forge imaginative narrative paths, but also he has a compelling gift for language on a sentence level . . . Anyone who respects attempts to make fiction will be rewarded by reading Kenyon's work." - Candace Fertile, Malahat Review