cover image Of Vengeance

Of Vengeance

J.D. Kurtness, trans. from the French by Pablo Strauss. Dundurn, $17.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-4597-4375-5

The anonymous narrator of Kurtness’s satirical debut, which won Canada’s Indigenous Voices Award for French Prose, kills people just because they annoy her. She becomes aware of her “vocation” at the age of 12, when she accidentally kills a classmate. His death plants the little seed of mayhem in her soul. As an adult, she works as a translator of such reality TV shows as Polygamous and Proud and Dwarves: Larger than Life. Her free time is spent getting even. She begins targeting vehicles “driven by people who consistently committed basic infractions. Excessive speeding, failure to stop for pedestrians, sound pollution, general boorishness.” As she expands her murderous activities, she laments, “There are just too many people to choose from.” She also rambles on about agrifood conglomerates, money-grubbing businessmen, complacent politicians, and radioactive waste disposal, among other peeves. Kurtness writes smoothly, but the black humor won’t be to every taste. Readers into passive-aggressive fantasies will best appreciate this one. [em](Oct.) [/em]