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Fiction Family Life


by (author) Ali Bryan

Freehand Books
Initial publish date
May 2023
Family Life, Literary, Humorous
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

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From Leacock finalist Ali Bryan, a witty and immensely fun dramedy about a family's memorial trip to the City of Love, where chaos ensues at every turn.

It's been ten years since Claudia's mother died after a tragic collision with a banana boat. Her kids are now teenagers, her brother's wife has left him, and her ex has had a spiritual awakening that has him hinting at reconciliation -- all things she can handle.


But when her septuagenarian father decides to remarry after a brief courtship with a woman who is decidedly different than their mother, the entire family is thrown off course, and plans a long overdue memorial trip to the only place their mother ever dreamed of going: Paris. However, minutes after take-off, the trip takes an unpredictable turn and sets off a chain of events that threatens to derail the closure the family desperately seeks.

Chance meetings, poolside confessions, run-ins with mimes, climate protests, and a man with a death wish force Claudia to reconsider everything she thought she knew about love, both the familial and the romantic, the tragic and the sublime. How well do we really know those closest to us? And how well do we really know ourselves?

In this follow-up to her award-winning novel Roost, Ali Bryan explores thorny family dynamics with her trademark offbeat humour and insight. Coq is a darkly comedic contemporary family drama that explores grief, identity, and second chances in the one-and-only City of Love.

About the author

Ali Bryan is a personal trainer who grew up in Halifax and attended high school in Sackville, New Brunswick. She is a graduate of St. Mary's University and completed a graduate certificate in creative writing from the Humber School for Writers under the tutelage of Paul Quarrington. She was a finalist in the 2010 CBC Canada Writes literary contest for her essay "Asshole Homemaker" and a bronze medalist in the 2012 Canada Writes literary triathlon. Ali lives in Calgary with her husband and three children. Her real name is Alexandra. Roost is her first novel.

Ali Bryan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Coq is a transcendentally, astonishingly funny book about family, grief, and love and Ali Bryan is, without question, one of the most talented humour writers working in Canada today."

Susan Juby

"When I read Ali Bryan's Roost, I didn't want it to end. With Coq, we get a chance to re-enter Ali's warm, hilarious, awkwardly familiar world of characters who feel as close as our own family members, this time in a place we all love to be - Paris. This is a difficult and harrowing time to be alive. Coq is true, smart, and enormously fun."

Todd Babiak

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