“I have long been convinced that Colin McAdam is a literary genius. What’s extraordinary is that each of the books he writes is a totally distinct type of genius. Every time. He’s in a league of his own.” —Max Porter, author of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
From Giller Prize finalist Colin McAdam, a chilling tale of a grieving novelist and his son who fall sway to a twilit world of desperate wanderers, mad geneticists, and noble, dangerous beasts.
In a tall and narrow house, on a stained and busy street, live twelve-year-old Oliver and his father, a story-loving writer. Haunted by the ghost of his alcoholic mother, Oliver finds comfort in his father’s impromptu tales: the Black Dove, an elusive flower that gives strength; the girl who consumes it as she battles attackers and yearns for happier realms. Stories where lonely souls keep searching despite their losses and grief.
Running from a bully one night, Oliver finds refuge in a junk shop owned by an enigmatic man. Soon, instead of hiding in the janitor’s closet after school, Oliver spends afternoons in the shop, a cavernous place full of storied oddities and grubby wonders where creatures rise up from the basement. A snake in the shape of a boy. A hunter named Night, part panther, part hound, who proves to Oliver that the world holds invisible wonder.
Wanting to forget his mother, afraid of his own genes, constantly harassed by bullies, Oliver decides to follow the shop-owner down the path of genetic editing. As he begins his transformation he meets the girl from across the street, and their friendship grows in a neighbourhood where magic is real, where murderers gather, and where the darker consequences of fantasies play out.
A twisting story of grief and revenge, Black Dove is a thrilling read with its own kind of magic. In rich but tightly reined prose, McAdam celebrates the value and shortfalls of storytelling, finding a light in all the darkness to conjure a tender portrait of childhood’s end.
About the author
COLIN McADAM’s last novel, A Beautiful Truth, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. It was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and named a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year. His first novel, Some Great Thing, won the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award and was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the U.K. His second novel, Fall, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and awarded the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennon Prize. He lives in Chelsea, Quebec.
Praise for Colin McAdam:
“I have long been convinced that Colin McAdam is a literary genius. What’s extraordinary is that each of the books he writes is a totally distinct type of genius. Every time. He’s in a league of his own.”
—Max Porter, Author of Grief is the Thing With Feathers