In this daring act of self-examination and confession, the late novelist Nelly Arcan explores the tortured end of a love affair. All the wrong signals were there from the start, but still, she could not help falling. More than a portrait of an affair gone wrong, Hysteric is a chronicle of life among the twenty- and thirty-somethings, a life structured by text messages, missed cell phone calls, the latest DJs and Internet porn. When the writer's aunt read her tarot cards, no predictionsfor her future ever appeared. This tale, an astounding feat of literary realism, shares the story of a woman who loses her identity in a man in hopes of finding love. Told in the same voice that made her first novel Whore an international success, Nelly Arcan manages to answer the challenges she set down for herself in her previous books.
Nelly Arcan was born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Her first novel Putain (2001); English: Whore (2004), drawing on her experience working in the sex trade in Montreal, caused a sensation and enjoyed immediate critical and media success. It was a finalist for both the Prix Médicis and the Prix Femina, two of France's most prestigious literary awards. Three more novels followed establishing her as a literary star in Quebec and France: Folle (2004), also nominated for the Prix Femina, À ciel ouvert (2007), and L'enfant dans le miroir (2007). Paradis, clef en main, her fourth novel, was completed just before she committed suicide in 2009 at the age of thirty-six.
David Homel is a writer, journalist, filmmaker, and translator. He is the author of six novels, most recently, Midway (Cormorant, 2010). His novel The Speaking Cure won the J.I. Segal Award of the Jewish Public Library, and the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Best Fiction from the Quebec Writer's Federation. He has also written two children's books, including Travels with my Family, which was co-authored with his wife, Canadian children's author Marie-Louise Gay. He has translated several French works, receiving two Governor General's Literary Awards for translation. Homel was born and raised in Chicago and currently resides in Montreal.