ReLit Long Shortlist, 2015
Winner, Type Books Award
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 predictions for 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.
Praise for Hysteric:
"She writes from a place that is both deeply embodied and highly intellectual—if someone’s womb really did end up on their brain, and that person then wrote a book, it might read something like Hysteric. English readers are lucky to have access to more of Arcan’s brains and guts, and this translation is hopefully a herald of growing appreciation for a uniquely talented and brutally brave writer." (Montreal Review of Books)
“Hysteric is a raw stroke of wild love that explores desire and memory, fear and love, a novel that leaves the lights on for its readers, hurts as much as it haunts, and brings a much-needed philosophy to the genre of urban literary fiction.” (The Georgia Straight)
One of the Telegraph Journal's Most Anticipated Books of 2014
Praise for Nelly Arcan:
"... With the publication of Breakneck this month (A Ciel ouvert, 2007), the small Canadian publisher Anvil Press concludes its project of publishing all of Arcan's novels in translation. ... Fantastically intelligent, always trying to second-guess how a woman should be, Arcan finds death the only answer to her predicament. In style and emotion—and honesty—her work is a much closer cousin to Edouard Leve's Suicide than to the archness of Belle de Jour or Catherine Millet. The best way to absorb Arcan's work is to read it in chronological order, and then to lament that the titles of her work—Whore, Hysteric, Breakneck, Exit—so succinctly and poignantly summarize the short life and hard-won philosophy of this exceptional writer." (The Times Literary Supplement)
About the authors
Nelly Arcan was born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Her first novel Putain (2001; Whore, 2004, Grove Press), 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. Two more novels followed, establishing her as a literary star in Quebec and France: Folle (2004), also nominated for the Prix Femina; and À ciel ouvert (2007). She is also the author of an illustrated book on the beauty myth for young girls: L’enfant dans le miroir (2007).
Paradis, clef en main (Exit) was her fourth novel and was completed just days before she committed suicide in 2009 at the age of thirty-six.
Born, bred and raised in Montreal, Jacob Homel has translated or collaborated in the translation of a number of works, including Toqué: Creators of a Quebec Gastronomy, The Last Genêt and The Weariness of the Self. In 2012, he won the JI Segal Translation Prize for his translation of A Pinch of Time. He shares his time between Montreal and Asia.
Other titles by Nelly Arcan
Other titles by Jacob Homel
Max O'Brien Mysteries 3-Book Bundle
The Kashmir Trap / The Roma Plot / The Tanzania Conspiracy
The Tanzania Conspiracy
A Max O'Brien Mystery
The Roma Plot
A Max O'Brien Mystery