The Party Wall

By (author): Catherine Leroux

Translated by: Lazer Lederhendler





Catherine Leroux’s The Party Wall shifts between and ties together stories about pairs joined in surprising ways. A woman learns that she may not be the biological mother of her own son despite having given birth to him; a brother and sister unite, as their mother dies, to search for their long-lost father; two young sisters take a detour home, unaware of the tragedy that awaits; and a political couple—when the husband accedes to power in a post-apocalyptic future state—is shaken by the revelation of their own shared, if equally unknown, history.

Lyrical, intelligent, and profound, The Party Wall is luminously human, a surreally unforgettable journey through the barriers that can both separate us and bring us together.


Catherine Leroux

Catherine Leroux is the author of three highly praised novels and an innovative sequence of short stories. Her first novel, La marche en forêt (2011), was a finalist for Quebec’s Booksellers’ Prize. Her bestselling second novel, The Party Wall, a translation of Le mur mitoyen, won the France–Quebec Prize in the original and, in translation, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Dublin IMPAC Award. In the United States, The Party Wall was a prestigious Indies Introduce selection. Leroux’s story sequence, Madame Victoria, won Quebec’s Adrienne Choquette Prize and was a finalist for the Booksellers’ Prize. The French original of The Future (L’avenir) won the Jacques Brossard Prize and was a finalist for the Imaginary Horizons Prize. Catherine Leroux works as a translator and editor in Montreal. She was awarded the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation.

Susan Ouriou is an award-winning fiction writer and literary translator with over sixty translations and co-translations of fiction, non-fiction, children’s and young adult literature to her credit. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation for which she has also been shortlisted on five other occasions. Susan lives in Calgary, Alberta.


Praise for The Party Wall

“…superbly crafted…Leroux skillfully reveals the inner worlds of her achingly human characters and the intricate bonds that connect them to each other. Images from this beautiful and moving book will haunt readers.”—Publishers Weekly

“A revelation… an emotionally affecting, intellectually stimulating examination of separation and connection.”—Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette

“Catherine Leroux writes with a startling grace. Her vision is clear-eyed and true, her heart is as big as sky and bay. The Party Wall‘s mothers, orphans, Olympians and prime ministers seem like living, breathing people. And they reveal, beat by beat, that the things that divide us also knit us together.”—Sean Michaels, author of the Giller Prize winning Us Conductors

“Initially, The Party Wall reads like a collection of linked stories; past the halfway mark, however, it reveals itself as something more intricate and cumulative … A surprising, carefully structured novel that for English readers will bring to mind David Mitchell, this feels much more expansive than its page count.”?The Globe and Mail

“… full of insightful passages, dynamic characters and surprising situations. The Party Wall is a searching investigation of familial ties of biology and biography and the complex ways in which self-discovery affects our relationships.”?The Winnipeg Review

“Impressive … A great part of the pleasure of The Party Wall comes from realizing that things are not as we—and the characters—believed them to be … A sensitively handled examination of people, relationships, and above all of fascinating questions of genetics and biology that are usually broached only in tabloids or gossip.”—J.C. Sutcliffe, Full Stop

“Catherine Leroux presents four narratives whose characters, at first glance, are far removed from each other physically, socially, and spiritually. Each is involved in a quest for a parent or a resolution with a family member that will reaffirm and define his or her own identity. When Leroux does establish connections among her characters, she deftly demonstrates the way in which humanity is interdependent and connected, no matter the walls erected to keep people out or in. Leroux’s characters, in such familiar situations, are well-defined and more than worthy of our sympathy.”—Mary Fran Buckley, Eight Cousins (Falmouth, MA)

“Intricate and multi-layered, The Party Wall reflects how interconnected the world can be. I don?t have the words to do this book justice. Just read it—the ending will deliver; I promise.”—Valerie Welbourn, Novels & Novelties Bookstore (Hendersonville, NC)

“[T]his book’s sensibility is as unique as the situations Catherine Leroux creates for her characters … The pacing is so subtle, the leaps and links among the storylines so imaginative, it’s unlike anything I’ve read in a long time.”—Martha Sharpe, Flying Books

“In The Party Wall, a thinking person?s book, interesting and disparate pairs of characters all eventually link together in a meaningful way. Politics in Canada plays a part, but there are so many other compelling scenes that make the novel hard to put down. The style and the characters are unique.”—Sarajane Giddings, Blue Door Books (Cedarhurst, NY)


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200 Pages
8.28in * 5.30in * .55in


May 10, 2016





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