Black Star

By (author): Maureen Medved

Winner, the CAA Fred Kerner Book Award.
Del Hanks is on the verge of academic tenure, but at forty she’s also perched on the precipice of either the beginning or the end of the rest of her life.

Black Star is a dark comedy, both bitingly funny and transgressive, an unflinching and unsentimental exploration of the female experience, academia, and the idea of power that burns in the mind as white as acid. Medved’s new novel is a searing critique of a world we all know too well, one of sexual exploitation, manipulation, and the subtle machinations of power that Black Star filters through the lens of academia. It is at once poetic, tragic, disturbing and funny.

“A “hideous narrative” about bad behaviour, Black Star elicits frequent guffaws. Philosopher-fools, what’s not to like?” (Toronto Star)

“The scholarly life has lent itself to fiction and satire for decades now (centuries, if you want to go back to Chaucer). … Delorosa Hanks, the chaotic narrator of Black Star, is the latest heir in this line. By the second sentence of the scalding new novel by Vancouver author Maureen Medved, Hanks is referring to her academic rival as ‘a lesion of carcinogenic proportions capable of rotting and destroying departments’. It just gets darker, funnier, and more acidic from there.” (The Georgia Straight)

“Maureen Medved masterfully explores her protagonists in all their spangled, fallible glory. Black Star plunges the reader into frantic academic rivalry. Is it paranoia or master manipulation? Every twist and turn will lead you down Medved’s darkly compelling rabbit hole.” (Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster)

“This wild novel is a powerful exploration of imposter syndrome taken to extremes and a story of how the sadistic, competitive world of academia intersects with one woman’s unraveling sense of self. Suspenseful and beautifully written.” (Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People, Giller Prize Finalist)

“You can read this slender swift novel as a comedy of manners, or a sly take on the corrosions of academe, but on its lower frequencies Maureen Medved’s brilliant new book is about the death of dreams and our lost hold on truth and reality, an often funny but finally harrowing look at a dystopia that’s come to reside in each of our souls.” (Charles D’Ambrosio, author of Loitering)


Maureen Medved

Maureen Medved is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright as well as an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. She has written essays on television and film for the magazine Herizons. Medved’s writing has won and been nominated for a number of awards. Her work has been distributed and performed world-wide. Her novel The Tracey Fragments was first published in 1998 by House of Anansi Press. Maureen’s plays have been produced in Vancouver, Waterloo, and Toronto, and her writing has been published in literary journals and magazines. Anansi published a film tie-in edition to coincide with the Canadian release of the film in Fall 2007, and Les Allusifs has published a French language version of the book. (The French language edition won a 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation.) Bruce McDonald directed Medved’s screen adaptation of The Tracey Fragments starring Ellen Page, which opened the Panorama program of the 57th annual Berlin International Film Festival and won the Manfred Salzgeber Prize. The film has gone on to feature at a number of international film festivals, screened at moma and has also garnered other nominations and awards, including a Genie Award nomination for Adapted Screenplay. In 2009, Medved received the Artistic Achievement Award from Women in Film and Television, Vancouver. Black Star is Medved’s second novel; Anvil will be publish Medved’s third book, her essays on television and film, in 2019. Maureen is currently working on a new novel.


Praise for&nbspThe Tracey Fragments,&nbspthe film (script by Medved, based on her novel): “A tough watch, but a rewarding one… ” (The Toronto Star) “Powerful… fierce, enigmatic and affecting.” (The New York Times) Praise for&nbspThe Tracey Fragments,&nbspthe book: &nbsp “Medved’s debut novel provides an eerie glimpse of a raging &nbspadolescent psyche… skillfully blends&nbspTracey’s frenzied facts and fictions into a cohesive portrait of a &nbspteenager on the verge of imploding… a taut, harrowing narrative.” (Publisher’s Weekly) “A high-octane jaunt through the remnants of a mind shattered by trauma.” (The Globe and Mail) “Tracey’s voice is acerbic, funny and totally convincing. Anyone who has been or has known a bitter and confused teenager will know where she’s coming from.” (Toronto Star) “Medved brilliantly conveys the rage and frustration of a self-conscious young girl… The effect is like digging through a box full of broken stained glass and finding an exquisite shard every time.” (Vancouver Magazine)


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224 Pages
8.31in * 5.72in * .57in


April 15, 2018



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