With the dead you can go anywhere.
When novelist Johnny Coma's daughter comes back from the dead as a talking octopus, will he be finally be able to write her story? Will his estranged wife, renowned war photographer Vivienne Pink, even believe him? In Stella Atlantis, the stunning follow-up to her visionary desert novel Death Valley, Susan Perly returns to the lives of these troubled artists, haunted by the death of their young daughter, Stella, killed on the sidewalk outside their home, as they search for healing in separate cities and with new lovers.
Moving in and out of Toronto, Amsterdam and Barcelona, across the Mediterranean to Ibiza and out to the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, Perly's prose enacts grieving itself in the twinned stories of Johnny and Vivienne. Playfully dark and filled with beautiful flights of imagery, this is a story of fathers and daughters, of love lost and love reborn, of the redemptive power of art, the transformative power of the sea and how we can dare to reach for radiance and redemption.
About the author
Susan Perly has worked as a radio producer at CBC. In the early `80s her Letters from Latin America for Peter Gzowski?s ?Morningside? reported from locales such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Chiapas. During the Iran-Iraq war she broadcast Letters from Baghdad. She also produced many documentaries for ?Sunday Morning? during that time.
Perly?s short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and in the anthology Hard Times. ?Jesus and the Toucan? won second prize in the CBC Literary Competition in 1988 and was dramatized with Don Francks. It was her story, ?1956: an excerpt? (about Thelonious Monk and Glenn Gould), which led to the use of jazz as both subject and model in her writing. She has performed parts of Love Street with jazz musicians in Toronto.
Susan Perly lives in Toronto with her husband, the poet Dennis Lee.
"Perly whirls a flaming sword to ignite a high-voltage world that feels unknown yet familiar: that half-forgotten, beloved place where we were supposed to be born. Elemental genius." – Kathleen Winter, author of Annabel and Lost in September