After a man inadvertently swallows an insect, he withdraws from the human race; another feels an ape growing inside him; and a son struggles to decipher the meaning of his father's death. Visceral, surprising, and surreal, these twelve stories from David Clerson move from the charged darkness of the woods to the urban underground, while characters set a course to see out the night.
Scurrying insects and luminous jellyfish reveal a predatory, ever-present world of childhood fairy tales, lurking shadows, and unrelenting fevers. Individuals are swallowed up by cities and bogs in this study of nature and humanity in all their terrifying glory. Throughout, Clerson draws—and blurs—the lines between man and beast, and life and death, all beneath an impassive, ailing sky.
About the authors
Katia Grubisic's poems and short stories, translations, and reviews have appeared in numerous periodicals, including the Globe and Mail, Books in Canada, Arc, the Antigonish Review, the Croatian Reader, CV2, ellipse, the Nashwaak Review, Grain Magazine, and Matrix. She is presently an editor for the New Quarterly and formerly a member of the editorial boards for Qwerty and the Fiddlehead. Her work has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and the Descant / Winston Collins Prize for poetry. She presently lives in Montreal.
David Clerson is one of the best-kept secrets in Quebec literature. Absolutely fascinating! Les Effrontées
These short stories by David Clerson land somewhere between Kafka, Horacio Quiroga, and Raymond Carver ... Unusual, tragic, and funny. Simon Boulerice, arts columnist
Clerson's strange fables lend themselves to shifts in meaning, curious associations, unusual combinations. “??” Laurence Perron, Lettres québécoises
David Clerson has captured the malaise of our times. Josée Boileau, Journal de Montréal
A powerful world where the fantastic meets the organic in compelling fashion. Jury, Grand Prix du livre de Montréal 2019
David Clerson toys with reality. Whether his characters are fleeing it, reinterpreting it, or trying to make sense of it, the unexpected paths they take cast our lives in a different light.> Sophie Ouimet, La Presse
In an apocalyptic world where myth meets dystopia, these short stories conjure up a recognizable present by drawing on the fantastical and the unusual — At once comic and profoundly melancholic, this is probably also David Clerson's most political book. He imagines (without requiring a huge leap of the imagination) a world that ignores its intellectuals as much as it does its misfits. Dominic Tardif, Le Devoir
A collection of short stories that reads like a thriller, tinged with horror and the uncanny. A remarkable piece of writing. Coop Zone Bookstore