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Fiction Family Life

The Madrigal

by (author) Dian Day

Inanna Publications & Education Inc.
Initial publish date
May 2018
Family Life, Contemporary Women, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2018
    List Price

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The child Frederick and his mother both have secrets. She sings alone in their desultory kitchen; he sneaks out of the house to sing for spare change in front of city bars and nightclubs, his vast repertoire learned from his mother's lyrical midnight music. His six older brothers run wild, and the sensitive and musically gifted Frederick and his struggling mother are very sure he is not like them at all.

In mid-life, Frederick is deliverer of Canada Post mail; teacher of Voice; keeper of even bigger secrets; caretaker of his demented mother; lousy with dates. Still, it appears that everything is more or less satisfactory and under control...until it becomes obvious that he can't get away from his past after all. The Madrigal explores the experience of solitude, the deep longing for elusive connection, the meaning of extraordinary talent, and the role of memories--either involuntarily forgotten or intentionally suppressed--throughout our lives. As each week Frederick steadfastly visits his mother in her nursing home, he brings a unique twist to a timeless journey of self-forgiveness.

About the author

Dian Day has worked as a reporter, counsellor, researcher, teacher, and artist. She holds an M.A. in Sociology and is the recipient of numerous academic awards. Dian has been writing fiction and poetry all of her life, beginning with an illustrated book entitled My Friend Robin, written in grade two. In the late 1990s, for several years in a row, she placed in both poetry and short story categories at the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia Atlantic Writing Competition. In 1998, her short story "Scratching the Surface" was published in The Gaspereau Review. In 2000, she received an Arts Grant from the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton for beginning work on this novel. Dian currently lives in Ottawa, but will be moving to Nova Scotia shortly (as a child she spent all her summers in Newfoundland where her parents are from originally).

Dian Day's profile page

User Reviews

Wonderful writer who deserves a wide readership

I came to The Madrigal with nervously high expectations, having greatly enjoyed Dian Day’s first novel, The Clock of Heaven. I needn’t have worried. The Madrigal is even more layered, more beautiful and more assured than Day’s debut. Frederick Madrigal is an endearing oddball of a protagonist, heartbreaking and funny in equal measure, and Day paints his family and his fears, his past and his present, with deep empathy and lyrical tenderness. The Madrigal is a tale of wounded people living at society’s edges, told with rich detail, wry humour and (appropriately) musical prose. Day is a wonderful writer who deserves to be widely read.

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