Poacher's Faith

Marc Seguin, trans. from the French by Kathryn Gabinet-Kroo . Exile Editions (Manda, Canadian dist.; IPG, U.S. dist.), $14.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-55096-314-4
In Séguin's debut novel, a man drives between the United States and Canada, drawing a giant "F*** YOU" across a map and letting the letters lead the way. During the course of this journey, the story's protagonist Marc (also the author's name) angrily searches for lifelong meaning in hunting, cooking, sex, and religion. An ex-layman of the Roman Catholic Church, Marc lost his faith as a seminary student and then fails at a suicide attempt years later, which is where the narrative picks up. Readers are then given a moving profile of his life since the age of twenty-one, including his time as a chef and the women he meets while driving. He encounters a black bear on the road and shoots it on the spot, selling and trafficking its organs and earning himself the title of "poacher." Séguin's plot often fades into philosophical and factual meanderings, mostly having to do with the nature of sex and aggression in men. Through his character, Séguin is able to address the entirety of human composition—from desire to destruction, from instinct to our questioning of it. Facts are woven into a chronicle grounded by poignant poetic reality but our narrator is still suspicious, speaking in delicate spurts of sanity. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
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