From divorce and bullying to after-school jobs and first crushes, Zazie recounts her misadventures with wit and charm. This excerpt, the “meet cute” between Zazie and the Boy, will have you both cringing and chuckling along with its narrator.
Quebec literature can often be labelled inward-looking. But Larry Tremblay’s The Orange Grove, set in an unnamed country torn apart by violence, is a piece of truly international literature.
“La fée des balcons is a pre-coming-of-age story buoyed by its indomitable narrator and beautiful, tender writing.”
“He followed Claire into the club, keeping close as they walked deeper into the bare-bulbed electric light, where sweat, smoke, alcohol, and perfume washed over them in a raucous wave that almost knocked Serafim back. The music was more ardent and raw than in the other clubs, with newly arrived musicians pulling bronze trumpets and saxophones out of cases lined with purple velvet and shouldering their way closer to the stage. To Serafim, it was bedlam. Claire, on the other hand, fed on the chaos.”
“Despite what the title may have you believe, Serafim and Claire is no love story. It is a novel about rash decisions, about the interconnectedness of our lives, and about chasing dreams. But there is a sweetness to the story, a redemptive quality to its end. It is the kind of novel that keeps you up with the bedside lamp on until the last page is turned.”
“Mathilde felt her chest tighten. Maybe her heart was breaking. The days passed by unnoticed. A gloom woke her in the morning and enveloped her at night. Sadness caught up with her in each corner of the apartment.”