Four writers, four different perspectives on the problematic notion of purity.
"All purity is created by resemblance and disavowal." With this sentence as a starting point, four authors each write a novella considering the concept of purity, all from astonishingly different angles. Jean Marc Ah-Sen writes about love blooming between two writers belonging to feuding literary movements. Emily Anglin explores an architect's search for her twin at a rural historic house. Devon Code documents the Wittgensteinian upheavals of the last days of an elderly woman. And Lee Henderson imagines Dada artist Kurt Schwitters finding unlikely inspiration in a Second World War internment camp in northern Norway.
Wildly different in style and subject matter, these four virtuoso pieces give us a 360-degree view of a philosophical theme that has never felt so urgent.
“Despite the disparity of their subject matter – a Nazi-evading Dadaist detained in Norway, urban and familial estrangements, complicated love amid the avant-garde, the vicissitudes of old age – these brilliantly inventive, delightfully strange stories cling together like four unlikely soulmates, unified by art’s pursuit of coherence through life’s various disintegrations.” —Pasha Malla, author of Kill the Mall
About the authors
Jean Marc Ah-Sen was born in East York, Ontario, in 1987. He comes from a family of Mauritian winemakers and was a frequent contributor to the Innis Herald, a University of Toronto newspaper. He lives in Toronto with his wife and son. Grand Menteur is his first novel. Find Ah-Sen on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jeanmarcahsen) or Twitter @jeanmarcahsen.
Writer and freelance editor Emily Anglin grew up in Waterloo, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto. Emily Anglin's creative work has appeared in the New Quarterly, the Whitewall Review, and in the chapbook The Mysteries of Jupiter. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia University and a PhD in English Literature from Queen's University, and also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Michigan's English department. Prior to her graduate studies, she studied English at the University of Waterloo. The Third Person is Anglin's first book.
Devon Code is the award-winning author of fiction, short stories, and critical reviews. In a Mist, Code's first collection of short stories, was longlisted for the 2008 ReLit Award and was included on The Globe and Mail's "Best Books" list. In 2010, Code was the recipient of the Journey Prize for his story "Uncle Oscar." His reviews of literary fiction have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Quill & Quire, and Canadian Notes & Queries. Originally from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Code lives in Peterborough, Ontario. Code's latest novel Involuntary Bliss is forthcoming from BookThug in the fall of 2016. Connect with Code on his website (www.devoncode.ca) or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/devon.code).
Lee Henderson is the award-winning author of The Broken Record Technique and The Man Game. His writing appears in the PEN Canada anthology Finding the Words and the speculative fiction anthology Darwin’s Bastards. For a decade he has written about contemporary Canadian artists for Border Crossings magazine. He has exhibited artwork in Vancouver, Toronto, and elsewhere, and curated shows of contemporary art and experimental music, including the inaugural selection for Hamish Hamilton Canada’s online gallery, The Looking Glass. He has led workshops for UBC and the Summer Literary Seminar and mentored at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and he currently teaches creative writing at the University of Victoria. His new novel, The Road Narrows As You Go, will be published by Hamish Hamilton in September 2014.