Deaf to the City

Marie-Claire Blais, Author, Marie-Claire Blais, Other Overlook Press $16.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-87951-276-7
Acclaimed French-Canadian writer Blais (Durer's Angel shows concern for marginal lives, notably of children, women, the maimed and the poor. Often these casualties of patriarchal abuse have angelic status , such as Mike, an afflicted child at the novel's center, to whom his mother Gloria caressingly murmurs, ""My angel.'' Maternal protector and porn-performer, Gloria fulfills in her ``charitable lewdness'' the female paradox of redemptive healer and society's victim. She sustains Mike's darkened mind with images of a desert scented with honey and lavender. Of Mike's many siblings, teenage Lucia snorts coke with lovers, while embittered Berthe turns from the family to immerse herself in study. Into their circle appears Florence, an older, privileged, but suicidal woman, whom Mike tries to befriend. Recipient of the Governor General's Award, this novel is written in an unstructured, stream-of-consciousness style. Blais's tendency toward sentimentality, unrelieved by irony, makes large demands on the reader. (September 7)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-87951-296-5
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-1-55096-013-6
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