A love story, an adventure story, and a fable without a moral, Undermajordomo Minor is a triumphant ink-black comedy of manners by Patrick deWitt, the Governor General’s Award–winning author of The Sisters Brothers.
House of Anansi is thrilled to unveil our official book trailer for Undermajordomo Minor, animated by Joanna Neborsky, with music by Patrick’s brother Nick deWitt. Watch the trailer here, and take a look below (along with quotes provided by Joanna) at some of the inspiration Joanna used for making the trailer, and some of her behind-the-scenes animation processes.
“The Arrival in Bethlehem” by Master LC ca 1540, Metropolitan Museum of Art
“From an early summer trip to the Met. Rooting around for fantastical and/or earthy landscapes from Middle Europe. Didn’t realize this one was biblical until too late.”
“These delighted German diners will soon lose their chocolate cake and teapot to my table spread.”
“Looking at old trains, and old trains climbing Alpine terrains.”
“This train from 1845 was pleasingly toylike. I gave it some steam.”
“A fiefdom of villagers I cut out and never used, and a few soldiers, peach tart, and old bell that I did.”
“The moon was an accidental motif that became useful for transitions between scenes.”
Olderglough’s louche reclining.”
A love story, an adventure story, a fable without a moral, and an ink-black comedy of manners, international bestselling author Patrick deWitt’s new novel is about a young man named Lucien (Lucy) Minor, who accepts employment at the foreboding Castle Von Aux. While tending to his new post as undermajordomo, he soon discovers the place harbours many dark secrets, not least of which is the whereabouts of the castle’s master, Baron Von Aux.
Lucien (Lucy) Minor is the resident odd duck in the hamlet of Bury. Friendless and loveless, young and aimless, Lucy is a compulsive liar, a sickly weakling in a town famous for begetting brutish giants. Then Lucy accepts employment assisting the majordomo of the remote, foreboding Castle Von Aux. While tending to his new post as undermajordomo, he soon discovers the place harbours many dark secrets, not least of which is the whereabouts of the castle’s master, Baron Von Aux. In the local village, he also encounters thieves, madmen, aristocrats, and Klara, a delicate beauty whose love he must compete for with the exceptionally handsome partisan soldier, Adolphus. Thus begins a tale of polite theft, bitter heartbreak, domestic mystery, and cold-blooded murder.
Undermajordomo Minor is a triumphant ink-black comedy of manners by the Governor General’s Award–winning author of The Sisters Brothers. It is an adventure, and a mystery, and a searing portrayal of rural Alpine bad behaviour, but above all it is a love story. And Lucy must be careful, for love is a violent thing.