cover image Girl Minus X

Girl Minus X

Anne Stone. Wolsak and Wynn, $20 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-1-989496-11-4

Keen insights on personhood, memory, and survival pervade Stone’s intimate, dystopian portrait of a pandemic spreading through Downtown Vancouver. Ever since high schooler Danielle-Jean Munday’s Aunt Norah was sent to a “prison-hospice” for carriers of a memory-destroying virus, who are no longer classified as people by the government, Dany’s been behind on rent, hungry, and intent on keeping her nonverbal five-year-old sister, Mac, away from child services. Blessed with an eidetic memory, the ability to precisely recall an image, but wracked with trauma, Dany hopes to rescue Norah—but her plan hits a wrinkle when many of the people around her catch a new, mutated strain of the virus, and Dany, though asymptomatic, may be patient zero. Hoping to get her friends and sister to isolated safety, Dany must infiltrate the prison camp and sneak the people she loves past military checkpoints before her own time runs out. This dangerous mission forces her to rethink what’s worth holding onto, and what it means to forget. With a poet’s ear for metaphor, Stone (Delible) offers a prismatic look at disaster striking people already in crisis. Stone’s brilliant, breathless novel will put readers in mind of Emily St. John Mandel and Margaret Atwood. (Oct.)