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Fiction Literary

The Baldwins

by (author) Serge Lamothe

translated by Fred A. Reed & David Homel

Publisher
Talonbooks
Initial publish date
Aug 2006
Category
Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889225442
    Publish Date
    Aug 2006
    List Price
    $15.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780889227972
    Publish Date
    Aug 2006
    List Price
    $15.95

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Description

In the post-apocalyptic future, 50 years after the last government of turbo-liberals and its president-for-life have been elected, a group of researchers convenes a Congress to address the curious cultural phenomenon of the Baldwins, whose stories have been gathered and archived by the chroniclers since the end of history. “Who are the Baldwins?” the Congress asks. “Do they actually exist, and if so, what is their history and their fate?” Only one thing seems certain to these Baldwinologists: “The Baldwins resemble us: they knew nothing of their origins, nor of their destination.”

Set in the landscape of one vast disposal site containing all the refuse of history, and using the rhetorical conventions of precise, objective, depersonalized scholarly research, the world Serge Lamothe brilliantly creates with this novel of fragments is one of a mysterious ambiguity, haunted by Kafka, Orwell, Gibson and Fukuyama.

This is contemporary prose at its most daring and experimental, creating a post-historical world so devoid of difference that the only imaginable use of language is for the mass production of consent?a world in which a nine-year-old’s suicide bombing may well, in fact, constitute the only meaningful act left to The Baldwins: a joyful embrace of the ultimate existential gesture, in which all difference is obliterated, consummated in a martyrdom of innocence on the consensual altar of the morally and politically correct.

About the authors

Serge Lamothe
Novelist, dramatist and poet Serge Lamothe has published four novels: La Longue Portée (1998), La Tierce Personne (2000), L’Ange au berceau (2002) and Les Baldwin (2004). His poems and short stories have also been published in various literary journals. His adaptation for the stage of Kafka’s novel Le Procès direction of filmmaker François Girard (The Red Violin).

Fred A. Reed
International journalist and award-winning literary translator Fred A. Reed is also a respected specialist on politics and religion in the Middle East. After several years as a librarian and trade-union activist at the Montreal Gazette, Reed began reporting from Islamic Iran in 1984, visiting the Islamic Republic 30 times since then. He has also reported extensively on Middle Eastern affairs for La Presse, CBC Radio-Canada and Le Devoir. Reed is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Award for translation.

David Homel
Award-winning author and literary translator David Homel also works as a journalist, editor and screenwriter. He was born in Chicago in 1952 but left at the end of the tumultuous 1960s and continued his education in Europe and Toronto before settling in Montreal in around 1980. He worked at a variety of industrial jobs before beginning to write fiction in the mid-1980s. His six novels to date have been translated into several languages and published around the world.

Serge Lamothe's profile page

International journalist and award-winning literary translator Fred A. Reed is also a respected specialist on politics and religion in the Middle East. Anatolia Junction, his acclaimed work on the unacknowledged wars of the Ottoman succession, has been translated in Turkey, where it enjoys a wide following. Shattered Images, which explores the origins of contemporary fundamentalist movements in Islam, has also been translated into Turkish, and into French as Images brisées (VLB éditeur, Montréal).

After several years as a librarian and trade union activist at the Montreal Gazette, Reed began reporting from Islamic Iran in 1984, visiting the Islamic Republic thirty times since then. He has also reported extensively on Middle Eastern affairs for La Presse, CBC Radio-Canada and Le Devoir.

A three-time winner of the Governor General’s Award for translation, plus a nomination in 2009 for his translation of Thierry Hentsch’s Le temps aboli, Empire of Desire. Reed has translated works by many of Québec’s leading authors, several in collaboration with novelist David Homel, as well as by Nikos Kazantzakis and other modern Greek writers.

Reed worked with documentarist Jean-Daniel Lafond on two documentary films: Salam Iran, a Persian Letter and American Fugitive. The two later collaborated on Conversations in Tehran (Talonbooks, 2006). He is currently working on a memoir. Fred A. Reed resides in Montréal.

Fred A. Reed's profile page

David Homel has translated over 30 books, many by Quebec authors. He won the Governor General's Literary Award in translation in 1995 for Why Must a Black Writer Write About Sex? by Dany Laferrière; his translation of Laferrière's How to Make Love to a Negro was nominated in 1988; and he won the prize in 2001 with fellow translator Fred A. Reed for Fairy Wing. His novels, which include Sonya & Jack, Electrical Storms, and The Speaking Cure have been published in several languages. Homel lives in Montreal, Quebec.

David Homel's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“?a searing and ironic commentary on the state of Western society — ”
Canadian Literature

?Serge Lamothe pens a book that is both surprising and exhilarating!”
Le Soleil

?Getting to know the Baldwins is like slipping into the inscrutable maze of the human soul — Serge Lamothe’s novel falls under the sign of utter creative freedom and is filled with word and language play, evocative imagery and poetic moods.”
Le Devoir

?Delightfully disconcerting, this book can be savoured thanks to a munificence that reveals a stunning imagination.”
Le Voir

Other titles by Fred A. Reed

Other titles by David Homel