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Cures for Hunger

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"As the motors vibrations cradled me, I tried to envision my life. I saw the red lines of highways on the map, stretched between cities like threads of torn cloth. I imagined a book that could hold it all together, plains and mountain ranges, dust-drab towns beyond interstates, and somewhere on the far edges, the valley in British Columbia and those nights in Virginia when I snuck out and stalked the highway, trying to fathom where I belonged on this threadbare continent."

As a child growing up in rural British Columbia, Deni Béchard had no idea that his family was extraordinary. With a father prone to racing trains and brawling, and a mother with interest in health food and the otherworldly, Deni finds pleasure in typical boyish activities: fishing for salmon with his father, and reading with his mother.

Assigned to complete a family tree in school, Deni begins to wonder why he doesn't know more about his father's side of the family. His mother is from Pittsburgh, and there is a vague sense that his father is from Quebec, but why the mystery? When his mother leaves Deni's father and decamps with her three children to Virginia, his curiosity only grows. Who is this man, why do the police seem so interested in him, and why is his mother so afraid of him? And when his mother begrudgingly tells Deni that his father was once a bank robber, his imagination is set on fire. Boyish rebelliousness soon gives way to fantasies of a life of crime, and a deep drive for experience leads him to a number of adventures, hitching to Memphis and stealing a motorcycle; fighting classmates and kissing girls.

Before long, young Deni is imagining himself as a character in one of his father's stories, or in the novels he devours greedily. At once attracted and repelled, Deni can't escape the sense that his father's life holds the key to understanding himself, and to making sense of his own passions, aversions, and motivations. Eventually he moves back to British Columbia, only to find himself snared in the controlling impulses of his mysterious father, and increasingly obsessed by his fathers own muted recollections of the Quebecois childhood he'd fled long ago.

At once an extraordinary family story and a highly unconventional portrait of the artist as a young man, Cures for Hunger is a singular, deeply affecting memoir, by one of the most acclaimed young writers in the world today.

Review:

"In the opening pages of Béchard's memoir, we learn that his duplicitous, bank-robbing father, André-to whom the bulk of the book is devoted-committed suicide 'in a house empty but for a single chair...on the outskirts of Vancouver.' Begun just three months after his father's death, Béchard's story is the result of 'seventeen years of rewriting,' and the process shows in the prose, which vacillates between that of a pretentious, if talented, young writer, and an adult whose understanding of his troubled youth has been refined by years of reflection and searching. Nevertheless, Béchard powerfully evokes the ever-present tension between the author and his parents ('Our family always seemed on the verge of disaster, and then the danger passed, and very little changed.'), as well as his own struggle to emulate and escape his father. At once a quest to uncover the details of André"s life-including his real name (Edwin), the town in Quebec from whence he came and the family he left there, and a criminal record that led one of André"s sisters to remark, '"Il ne faisait rien à moitié."-He didn't do anything halfway.'-Béchard's story is also one of personal discovery, and a teasing out of the function of memory: what it keeps, what it loses, and what it saves. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"In Cures for Hunger, Deni Y. Bechard has created a moving story of rootlessness, rebellion, lost love, criminal daring, regret, and restless searching. Driven above all by the need to grasp his father's secrets, he has written his narrative in skillful, resonant prose graced with a subtle tone of obsession and longing." Leonard Gardner, author of Fat City

Review:

"A poignant but rigorously unsentimental account of hard-won maturity." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A coming-of-age story of lost innocence, violence, and tenderness by a writer obsessed with the man who influenced him the most but was there the least." Jonathan Fullmer, Booklist

Review:

"This powerful and haunting memoir is a must-read for anyone who has ever struggled to uncover their identity within the shadow of a parent. Written in exquisitely sharp prose, Béchard combs through his attempt to understand his father's mysterious existence with inspiring precision. This book is huge and achingly true." Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance

Review:

"You haven't read a story like this one, even if your father was the kind of magnificent scoundrel you only find in Russian novels. Béchard is the rare writer who knows the secret to telling the true story. Just because the end is clear doesn't mean the bets are off." Marlon James, author of The Book of Night Women

Review:

"Béchard writes that prison taught his father 'the nature of the self, the way it can be shaped and hardened.' As in a great novel, this darkly comic and lyrical memoir demonstrates the shaping of its author, who suffers the wreckage of his father's life, yet manages to salvage all the beauty of its desperate freedoms. Béchard's poetic gifts give voice to the outsiders of society, and make them glow with humanity and love." Elizabeth McKenzie, author of Stop That Girl

Synopsis:

"Where did such longings reside in us, passed on through blood or stories? It seemed to me then, hearing his words, that a father's life is a boy's first story." — from Cures for Hunger

At once an extraordinary family story and a highly unconventional portrait of the artist as a young man, Cures for Hunger is a singular, deeply affecting memoir, by one of the most acclaimed young writers in the world today.

Synopsis:

“Where did such longings reside in us, passed on through blood or stories? It seemed to me then, hearing his words, that a fathers life is a boys first story.” —from Cures for Hunger

“You havent read a story like this one, even if your father was the kind of magnificent scoundrel you only find in Russian novels. Béchard is the rare writer who knows the secret to telling the true story. Just because the end is clear doesnt mean the bets are off.” —Marlon James, author of The Book of Night Women

“This powerful and haunting memoir is a must-read for anyone who has struggled to uncover their identity within the shadow of a parent. In exquisitely sharp prose, Béchard renders his attempts to understand his fathers mysterious existence. This book is huge and achingly true.” —Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance

“A moving story of rootlessness, rebellion, lost love, criminal daring, regret, and restless searching. Driven above all by the need to grasp his fathers secrets, Béchard has written his narrative in skillful, resonant prose graced with a subtle tone of obsession and longing.” —Leonard Gardner, author of Fat City

“Béchard writes that prison taught his father ‘the nature of the self, the way it can be shaped and hardened. As in a great novel, this darkly comic and lyrical memoir demonstrates the shaping of its author, who suffers the wreckage of his fathers life, yet manages to salvage all the beauty of its desperate freedoms. Béchards poetic gifts give voice to the outsiders of society, and make them glow with humanity and love.” —Elizabeth McKenzie, author of Stop That Girl

Synopsis:

“As the motors vibrations cradled me, I tried to envision my life. I saw the red lines of highways on the map, stretched between cities like threads of torn cloth. I imagined a book that could hold it all together, plains and mountain ranges, dust-drab towns beyond interstates, and somewhere on the far edges, the valley in British Columbia and those nights in Virginia when I snuck out and stalked the highway, trying to fathom where I belonged on this threadbare continent.”

As a child, Deni Béchard has no idea his family is unusual. His mother is from Pittsburgh and there is a vague sense that his father is from Quebec, but when Deni is assigned to complete a family tree in school, he begins to wonder why he doesnt know more about his fathers side of the family. Who is André Béchard, and why do the police seem so interested in him?

Soon after Denis mother leaves his father and decamps with her three children to Virginia, Deni learns that André was once a bank robber, a revelation that sets his imagination on fire. Boyish rebelliousness soon gives way to fantasies of a life of crime. At once attracted and repelled, Deni cant escape the sense that his fathers life holds the key to understanding himself, and to making sense of his own passions and longings. Only when he goes off to college does Deni begin to unravel the story of his fathers life, eventually returning with it to the Quebecois family that André had fled long ago.

At once an extraordinary family story and a highly unconventional portrait of the artist as a young man, Cures for Hunger is a deeply affecting memoir, by one of the most acclaimed young writers in the world today.

Deni Y. Béchard was born in British Columbia and raised in Canada and the United States. His articles, stories, and translations have appeared in a number of magazines and newspapers. His first novel, Vandal Love, won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize. He lives in New York City.

About the Author

Deni Y. Béchard was born in British Columbia to a loving and health-conscious American mother and a French-Canadian father with a penchant for crime and storytelling. He grew up in primarily in B.C. and Virginia, but an insatiable drive for travel and experience led him to roam widely across North America. Cures for Hunger focuses on the experiences and effects of his nomadic childhood.

Béchard's first novel, Vandal Love, (Doubleday Canada, 2006) won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize for the best first book in the entire British Commonwealth. He has been a fellow at MacDowell, Jentel, the Edward Albee Foundation, Ledig House, the Anderson Center, and the Vermont Studio Center, among others. His articles, stories and translations have appeared in a number of magazines and newspapers, among them the National Post, the Harvard Review and the Harvard Divinity Bulletin. He has reported from Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places, and has lived in over thirty countries. When not traveling, he divides his time between Tokyo, Cambridge, and Montréal. Cures for Hunger and Vandal Love are his first — and simultaneous — book-length publications in the United States.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781571313317
Author:
Bechard, Deni Y.
Publisher:
Milkweed Editions
Author:
Deni B
Author:
&
Author:
Bechard, Deni
Author:
Chard
Author:
B
Author:
chard, Deni
Author:
eacute
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Biography » Literary
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Cures for Hunger New Hardcover
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$24.00 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Milkweed Editions - English 9781571313317 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In the opening pages of Béchard's memoir, we learn that his duplicitous, bank-robbing father, André-to whom the bulk of the book is devoted-committed suicide 'in a house empty but for a single chair...on the outskirts of Vancouver.' Begun just three months after his father's death, Béchard's story is the result of 'seventeen years of rewriting,' and the process shows in the prose, which vacillates between that of a pretentious, if talented, young writer, and an adult whose understanding of his troubled youth has been refined by years of reflection and searching. Nevertheless, Béchard powerfully evokes the ever-present tension between the author and his parents ('Our family always seemed on the verge of disaster, and then the danger passed, and very little changed.'), as well as his own struggle to emulate and escape his father. At once a quest to uncover the details of André"s life-including his real name (Edwin), the town in Quebec from whence he came and the family he left there, and a criminal record that led one of André"s sisters to remark, '"Il ne faisait rien à moitié."-He didn't do anything halfway.'-Béchard's story is also one of personal discovery, and a teasing out of the function of memory: what it keeps, what it loses, and what it saves. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "In Cures for Hunger, Deni Y. Bechard has created a moving story of rootlessness, rebellion, lost love, criminal daring, regret, and restless searching. Driven above all by the need to grasp his father's secrets, he has written his narrative in skillful, resonant prose graced with a subtle tone of obsession and longing."
"Review" by , "A poignant but rigorously unsentimental account of hard-won maturity."
"Review" by , "A coming-of-age story of lost innocence, violence, and tenderness by a writer obsessed with the man who influenced him the most but was there the least."
"Review" by , "This powerful and haunting memoir is a must-read for anyone who has ever struggled to uncover their identity within the shadow of a parent. Written in exquisitely sharp prose, Béchard combs through his attempt to understand his father's mysterious existence with inspiring precision. This book is huge and achingly true."
"Review" by , "You haven't read a story like this one, even if your father was the kind of magnificent scoundrel you only find in Russian novels. Béchard is the rare writer who knows the secret to telling the true story. Just because the end is clear doesn't mean the bets are off."
"Review" by , "Béchard writes that prison taught his father 'the nature of the self, the way it can be shaped and hardened.' As in a great novel, this darkly comic and lyrical memoir demonstrates the shaping of its author, who suffers the wreckage of his father's life, yet manages to salvage all the beauty of its desperate freedoms. Béchard's poetic gifts give voice to the outsiders of society, and make them glow with humanity and love."
"Synopsis" by , "Where did such longings reside in us, passed on through blood or stories? It seemed to me then, hearing his words, that a father's life is a boy's first story." — from Cures for Hunger

At once an extraordinary family story and a highly unconventional portrait of the artist as a young man, Cures for Hunger is a singular, deeply affecting memoir, by one of the most acclaimed young writers in the world today.

"Synopsis" by ,

“Where did such longings reside in us, passed on through blood or stories? It seemed to me then, hearing his words, that a fathers life is a boys first story.” —from Cures for Hunger

“You havent read a story like this one, even if your father was the kind of magnificent scoundrel you only find in Russian novels. Béchard is the rare writer who knows the secret to telling the true story. Just because the end is clear doesnt mean the bets are off.” —Marlon James, author of The Book of Night Women

“This powerful and haunting memoir is a must-read for anyone who has struggled to uncover their identity within the shadow of a parent. In exquisitely sharp prose, Béchard renders his attempts to understand his fathers mysterious existence. This book is huge and achingly true.” —Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance

“A moving story of rootlessness, rebellion, lost love, criminal daring, regret, and restless searching. Driven above all by the need to grasp his fathers secrets, Béchard has written his narrative in skillful, resonant prose graced with a subtle tone of obsession and longing.” —Leonard Gardner, author of Fat City

“Béchard writes that prison taught his father ‘the nature of the self, the way it can be shaped and hardened. As in a great novel, this darkly comic and lyrical memoir demonstrates the shaping of its author, who suffers the wreckage of his fathers life, yet manages to salvage all the beauty of its desperate freedoms. Béchards poetic gifts give voice to the outsiders of society, and make them glow with humanity and love.” —Elizabeth McKenzie, author of Stop That Girl

"Synopsis" by ,
“As the motors vibrations cradled me, I tried to envision my life. I saw the red lines of highways on the map, stretched between cities like threads of torn cloth. I imagined a book that could hold it all together, plains and mountain ranges, dust-drab towns beyond interstates, and somewhere on the far edges, the valley in British Columbia and those nights in Virginia when I snuck out and stalked the highway, trying to fathom where I belonged on this threadbare continent.”

As a child, Deni Béchard has no idea his family is unusual. His mother is from Pittsburgh and there is a vague sense that his father is from Quebec, but when Deni is assigned to complete a family tree in school, he begins to wonder why he doesnt know more about his fathers side of the family. Who is André Béchard, and why do the police seem so interested in him?

Soon after Denis mother leaves his father and decamps with her three children to Virginia, Deni learns that André was once a bank robber, a revelation that sets his imagination on fire. Boyish rebelliousness soon gives way to fantasies of a life of crime. At once attracted and repelled, Deni cant escape the sense that his fathers life holds the key to understanding himself, and to making sense of his own passions and longings. Only when he goes off to college does Deni begin to unravel the story of his fathers life, eventually returning with it to the Quebecois family that André had fled long ago.

At once an extraordinary family story and a highly unconventional portrait of the artist as a young man, Cures for Hunger is a deeply affecting memoir, by one of the most acclaimed young writers in the world today.

Deni Y. Béchard was born in British Columbia and raised in Canada and the United States. His articles, stories, and translations have appeared in a number of magazines and newspapers. His first novel, Vandal Love, won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize. He lives in New York City.

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