Middle-aged and short on prospects, Charles Wilson returns to Trempes, the village of his childhood, and discovers the body of his childhood friend, Paul Faber, hanging from a tree in the clearing where they played as boys. Thus begins Wilson’s obsessive quest to exhume the secrets of his past and to understand the reasons for his friend’s death. But memories shift, people change and things are never as they seem. Soon Wilson finds himself caught up in a delusory spiral that threatens his very existence.
This is at once a neo-Gothic metaphysical thriller and a meticulous meditation on the unapologetic betrayal of memory and imagination. Wilson’s story bubbles up from the faults between mystery and fairy tale, brimming with characters haunted and tortured by the past, where truth and deception are wound up in time like the gnarled branches of old, grizzled trees.
Reviews of the French edition, Le Pendude Trempes:
‘This book will make readers experience moments of anxiety bordering on insanity.’
‘This is a fascinating book, and the experience of reading it is absolutely entrancing.’
– Le Devoir
Nathalie Stephens writes l’entre-genre in English and French. Her most recent works include L’Injure, Paper City and Je NathanaÃ«l, which was also released in English self-translation (BookThug, 2006). L’Injure was a finalist for the 2005 Prix Alain-Grandbois and le Prix Trillium; the fiction Underground was a finalist in 2000 for the Grand Prix du Salon du livre de Toronto. Stephens is the recipient ofa 2002 Chalmers Arts Fellowship. She currently teaches in the MFAW program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Since La Femme de Sath, a book acclaimed by critics in Quebec, Andrée A. Michaud has built a distinguished oeuvre. Her fifth novel, Le Ravissement, won a Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 2001 and was nominated for several other prizes, as was Le Pendu de Trempes. Her eighth novel was published to great acclaim in October 2006 by Ã?ditions Québec Amérique.