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list price: $19.95
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published: April 2012
ISBN:9780864927439

Cures for Hunger

A Memoir

by Deni Béchard

reviews: 0
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.95
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover Paperback
published: April 2012
ISBN:9780864927439
Description

Almost unbelievable. You'll swear it's fiction.

"You haven't read a story like this one, even if your father was the kind of magnificent scoundrel you only find in Russian novels. Béchard is the rare writer who knows the secret to telling the true story." — Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

Growing up in rural British Columbia, Deni Béchard worships his father, believing that he can do no wrong. Although his charismatic father is prone to racing trains and brawling, Deni has no idea how unusual his family is.

But when Deni discovers his father's true identity (and his other life as a bank robber), his imagination is set on fire. Before long, he begins to see himself as a character in one of his father's stories. He can't escape the sense that his father's life holds the key to understanding his own passions, aversions, and motivations.

Eventually Deni finds himself ensnared in the controlling impulses of his mysterious father and increasingly obsessed by his father's own muted recollections: the impoverished childhood in the Gaspé he'd fled long ago, the hunger for excitement and a better life, and a trail of crimes leading from Québec to the American west.

At once an extraordinary family story and an unconventional portrait of the artist as a young man, Cures for Hunger is a singular, deeply affecting memoir by an acclaimed writer.

About the Author

Deni Béchard

Deni Ellis Béchard is the author of the novel Vandal Love, winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; Cures for Hunger, a memoir about growing up with a father who robbed banks; and The Last Bonobo: A Journey into the Congo. His work has appeared in the LA Times, Salon, and Foreign Policy, and he has reported from Afghanistan, India, the Congo, and Iraq.

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Editorial Reviews

"A spare, raw, haunting memoir about living in the shadow of an enigmatic man. ... Deni Y. Béchard is a writer to watch."

— <i>Booklist Onnline</i>

"A poignant but rigorously unsentimental account of hard-won maturity."

— <i>Kirkus Reviews</i>

"A complex tale, full of bittersweet encounters, rage, love, and sorrow."

— straight.com

"Béchard's whiplashing sentences have an intimacy. ... Clever, superbly paced and crafted, sincere and very affecting."

— <i>Roverarts.com</i>

"Best book to bring on a soul-searching solo trip: ‘Beautifully written memoir.’ "

— <i>thetyree.ca</i>

"Captivating and poignant memoir... Deni Y. Béchard's prose brims with nuance as his characters move across a continent and leave the reader richer for accompanying them. ... a must-read for anyone who has mused about the ways in which parents' actions can affect their children... a heartfelt depiction of the long road taken to a better understanding of the complexity of the parent-child bond."

— <i>Winnipeg Free Press</i>

"Ragged and rough on the surface, tender and aching underneath, Bouchard's writing style reflects what may be the real subject of this memoir; his own youthful bravado."

— <i>Montreal Gazette</i>

"A moving story of rebellion, lost love, criminal daring, and restless searching. Driven above all by the need to grasp his father's secrets, Béchard has written his narrative in skillful, resonant prose graced with a subtle tone of obsession and longing."

— Leonard Gardner

"Béchard writes that prison taught his father 'the nature of the self, the way it can be shaped and hardened.' As in a great novel, this darkly comic and lyrical memoir demonstrates the shaping of its author, who suffers the wreckage of his father's life, yet manages to salvage all the beauty of its desperate freedoms. Béchard's poetic gifts give voice to the outsiders of society, and make them glow with humanity and love."

— Elizabeth McKenzie

"This powerful and haunting memoir is a must-read for anyone who has struggled to uncover their identity within the shadow of a parent. In exquisitely sharp prose, Béchard renders his attempts to understand his father's mysterious existence. This book is huge and achingly true."

— Claire Bidwell Smith

"Béchard's memoir is alternately funny and poignant, with a meditative, leisurely pace. ... embedded with insights. The complexities of hunger are the core of this story. Hunger is not simply a clawing emptiness in the belly: It is the yearning ‘for truth, for love, for a single thing that we can trust’ it is ‘the perfect pleasure of wanting.’... Ultimately for Béchard, writing is freedom and Cures for Hunger is both a journey and a coming home."

— <i>Montreal Review of Books</i>

"A coming of age story with rare and loving insights into the vulnerable hearts of men and boys — and the women that help shape them."

— <i>The Huffington Post</i>

A "Best Book of the Year So Far" and "Best Biography/Memoir of the Year So Far"

— Amazon.ca

"Cures for Hunger is a poignant adventure story with a mystery... But it is also, perhaps even more so, the story of an artist coming of age. Readers will be reminded of James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man."

— <i>The Plain Dealer</i>

"Béchard powerfully evokes the ever-present tension between the author and his parents... as well as his own struggle to emulate and escape his father... Béchard's story is also one of personal discovery, and a teasing out of the function of memory: what it keeps, what it loses, and what it saves."

— <i>Publishers Weekly</i>

"You haven't read a story like this one, even if your father was the kind of magnificent scoundrel you only find in Russian novels. Béchard is the rare writer who knows the secret to telling the true story. Just because the end is clear doesn't mean the bets are off."

— Marlon James

"Cures for Hunger illustrates the ways in which storytelling can act as a means of self-discovery... much more than a memoir of youthful misadventure, though it contains plenty of that. It's also an exploration of the oppression of lineage, of familial duty, wanderlust, and perennial dissatisfaction, and the most American theme of them all: personal reinvention."

— <i>The Iowa Review</i>

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