Written by Perrine LeBlanc
Translated by Lazer Lederhendler
Publication Date September 21, 2015
The latest from Governor General’s Literary Award winner Perrine Leblanc is a mesmerizing story about the disappearance of three young women and a deeply disturbing portrait of a small town gone bad.
In between the mountains and the sea, on the north shore of the Baie des Chaleurs, there’s a village called Malabourg. The village is surrounded by all the usual features of the region: a river with wild salmon, a stretch of the national highway, and a coniferous forest. But Malabourg has one unusual feature: in the heart of the forest there’s a lake the kids call “the tomb.” It’s the place where three young women have disappeared, one by one. As rumours and allegations spread through the village, Alexis and Mina struggle to make sense of the tragedies before deciding the only way to forget is to leave. Alexis relocates to France to learn how to compose perfume and Mina moves hundreds of kilometres away from the sea. But, in spite of the distance, Alexis and Mina can’t forget Malabourg, or each other.
Unfolding along the beautiful, rugged landscape of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, The Lake is the gripping story of the disappearance of three young women, the unsettling aftermath, and the search for life beyond the limits of a small town.
Perrine Leblanc was born in Montreal in 1980. Her first novel (published under the title L’homme blanc in Quebec and Kolia in France) won the Governor General’s Literary Award for French Fiction, Quebec’s “Canada Reads” competition, and the Grand prix du livre de Montréal; it was also longlisted for Elle magazine’s Grand prix. She lives in Montreal.
Lazer Lederhendler is a Montreal-based translator specializing in contemporary Québécois fiction and nonfiction. His work has earned him distinctions in Canada and abroad, including multiple nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Award, which he won in 2008 for the translation of Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner. He is also the translator of Gaétan Soucy’s novel, The Immaculate Conception, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation, and the winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Prize. Ravenscrag, Lederhendler’s translation of a novel by Alain Farah, was published by Arachnide in April 2015.
"This slim novel, which deftly blends murder, mystery, romance, and a coming-of-age story, is a testament to the talent of the author." Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
"Like all good mysteries, The Lake is as much about place as it is about crime, and in Lazer Lederhendler’s seamless translation, Malabourg is a dark place indeed. Perrine Leblanc has created a kind of québécois noir: ominous, compelling, and totally convincing." Wayne Grady, Author of Emancipation Day
"Some become authors through hard work; some are born authors like Perrine Leblanc." Kim Thúy, Author of Ru and Màn
"...promisingly dark and offbeat..." Quill and Quire
"...exactly what Leblanc is up to isn’t clear until literally the last page, when the novel’s two halves are deftly reconnected in a way that ends up making perfect structural and emotional sense." Montreal Gazette
"There’s real skill here, and a faith that the reader will be engaged enough in the sensual details that Leblanc generously lards her prose with. This short book contains both brutality and moments of real grace and beauty, rewarding the reader who didn’t open it just to find out who killed whom." National Post