A is a work of fiction in which André Alexis presents the compelling narrative of Alexander Baddeley, a Toronto book reviewer obsessed with the work of the elusive and mythical poet Avery Andrews. Baddeley is in awe with Andrews's ability as a poet - more than anything he wants to understand the inspiration behind his work - so much so that, following in the footsteps of countless pilgrims throughout literary history, Baddeley actually tracks Andrews down thinking that meeting his literary hero will provide some answers. Their meeting results in a meditation and a revelation about the creative act itself that generates more and more questions about what it means to be "inspired." Alexis further develops this narrative through a reflection in essay form presented as an annex that build layers of thought upon not only the original narrative, but provides Alexis's own motives (and perhaps, obsessions) behind writing A.
Praise for André Alexis:
A by André Alexis is "a propulsive read, effortless and a little addictive...it is genuinely fascinating, a work whose rich complexities belie its brevity."
- The Winnipeg Review
A, a wondrous piece...that deftly plays with the conventions of satire, polemic, and magic realism.
- Quill & Quire
"André Alexis is a genuine talent."
- Richard Bachmann, A Different Drummer Books
"Alexis [has an] astute understanding of the madly shimmering, beautifully weaving patterns created by what we have agreed to call memory."
- Ottawa Citizen
"Although Canada boasts many promising young writers, the most promising of all may be André Alexis. . . ."
- London Free Press
"Alexis already knows what it takes many grey wise men a lifetime to realize: that neither memory nor history is a straight line."
- Edmonton Journal