The Delusionist

By (author): Grant Buday

Art, love, and history furnish the setting in this tale of fate and destiny. Set in Vancouver in 1962, we follow Cyril Andrachuk, son of immigrant parents from the former Ukraine, as he makes his way from high school to menial labour jobs, from first love to first heartbreak, from sibling rivalry to malicious family betrayal.

Cyril is the only Canadian-born member of the Andrachuk family, his parents and older brother having survived the Holodomor, Stalin’s systematic starving of the Ukraine in the 1930s during which two million people died. Cyril’s mother carries the scars and memories of a past she can’t let go of; she mourns the early death of her husband and feels responsible for the malnourished, brittle bones of her eldest son, Paul. Cyril is a mystery to her: he wants to be an artist – he draws incessantly and talks about going to art school. He draws his late-father’s tools – saws, drills, hammers, wrenches, everything. When Cyril produces a series of large commemorative “Stalin stamps” his mother questions her son’s insensitivity; when an act of impassioned violence erupts in the house, it is Cyril’s sanity that is called into question.

The Delusionist is a darkly comic novel about love, loss, creativity, and coming to terms with the horrors of history.

Praise for Grant Buday:

“Buday’s genius is that of the storyteller.” –The Vancouver Sun

“mordantly funny” –The National Post

“a rollicking black comedy of errors with a host of unforgettable characters” –Quill & Quire (on White Lung)


Grant Buday

Grant Buday is the author of the novels Dragonflies, White Lung, Sack of Teeth, Rootbound, The Delusionist, Atomic Road and Orphans of Empire, the memoir Stranger on a Strange Island, and the travel memoir Golden Goa. His novels have twice been nominated for the City of Vancouver book prize. His articles and essays have been published in Canadian magazines, and his short fiction has appeared in The Journey Prize Anthology and Best Canadian Short Stories. He lives on Mayne Island, British Columbia.


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
There are no other resources for this book.

Reader Reviews



256 Pages
8.24in * 5.32in * .63in


May 26, 2014



Book Subjects:

FICTION / General

Featured In:

All Books



No author posts found.

Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.

Other books by Grant Buday