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Black Bird


Black Bird Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With comic brilliance and a delight in the macabre, Michel Basilires holds a fun-house mirror up to a defining moment in Canadian history and reveals, among other things, a family having a very bad year.

Holed up in a shambling house at the base of Mount Royal is the family Desouche: three generations of English- and French-Canadians caught in the gears of a national emergency. Their world is dark and hard, but alive with hope and expectation. When one of the eldest, an Anglo Montrealer, dies at the hand of one of the youngest, a militant separatist, so begins a year of turmoil and change that culminates in the October Crisis.

Grave-robbing Grandfather consorts with prostitutes and mad scientists, loses an eye and gains a new vision. His disenchanted wife bonds with his canny pet crow. Mother sleeps her grief away through the seasons, while Father ineffectively schemes to get rich quick. Meanwhile, their twin children, Marie and Jean-Baptiste, find their personal ambitions clashing with their public actions as they derail each other at every turn.

In this wholly original novel alive with misfortune and magic, Michel Basilires uncovers a Montreal not seen in any other English-Canadian novel: a forgotten blue-collar neighbourhood in between the two solitudes. Gothic, outrageous, yet tender and wise, Black Bird is as liberating as the dreams of its wayward characters, and as gripping as the insurgencies that split its heart.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Michel Basilires grew up in Montreal with his French father and Anglophone mother. He was ten years old at the time of the October Crisis, which he still remembers vividly. He now lives in Toronto, where he works as a bookseller while writing his second novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Knopf Canada
Publication Date:
Michel Basilieres

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Black Bird
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Product details pages Knopf Canada - English 9780307368478 Reviews:
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