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About this book
A Family Affair
Nadine Bismuth • Russell Smith
Award-winning Québécoise novelist and screenwriter for film and television Nadine Bismuth has returned with an unsparing portrait of twenty-first century life. In A Family Affair, love is the casualty and deceit — towards others, towards oneself — the norm.
Kitchen designer Magalie is being cheated upon and so cheats in turn, in the office and with a divorced policeman who has hired her. Her partner, Mathieu, has no idea what he wants, and the policeman Guillaume no idea how to court. So begins a story of messy relationships wrested against the odds from the detritus of failed marriages, the demands of professional lives, and the pull of the internet and its false messages of perfection. With an assiduous eye that is both clinical and sympathetic, Bismuth’s elegant and highly readable novel captures the alienating nature of contemporary life and sheds light on this, our strange new world full of unrequited yearning in a sea of seeming plenty.
About the Creators
NADINE BISMUTH’s debut story collection, Fidelity Doesn’t Make the News, won the Prix de l’Association des librairies du Québec and the Adrienne-Choquette Literary Prize. She is the author of two previous novels, Scrapbook and Are You Married to a Psychopath?, the latter of which was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award. She has written for film and television, including En thérapie, the adaptation of the popular syndicated series In Therapy. Nadine Bismuth was born and lives in Montreal.
RUSSELL SMITH is a writer, journalist, and translator. The author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction, his most recent novel, Confidence, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His work has also been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Toronto Book Awards, and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. He also writes a weekly column on arts for the Globe and Mail. A Family Affair is his first book-length translation.
Awards and Praise
PRAISE FOR NADINE BISMUTH AND A FAMILY AFFAIR:
“The author who accustomed us to the lies and neuroses of young adults now leads us into the world of forty-somethings, in which infidelity must somehow be managed in lives weighed down by work, shared custody, and hours online . . . Despite a generous helping of Bismuth’s typically dark humour, a disturbing melancholy permeates A Family Affair.” — La Presse
“A keen and lucid exploration of the mirages of love and motherhood.” — Le Devoir
“Bismuth writes page-turners, frankly and accessibly. Once started, you cannot stop. In A Family Affair, we are witnesses to ordinary lives turned upside-down . . . the reader becomes a voyeur, and can’t help but enjoy it . . . Bismuth writes with a sharp and addictive pen, and we devour her recounting of the everyday as if it were a crime thriller.” — Le fil rouge
PRAISE FOR NADINE BISMUTH AND ARE YOU MARRIED TO A PSYCHOPATH?:
Finalist, Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
PRAISE FOR NADINE BISMUTH AND FIDELITY DOESN’T MAKE THE NEWS:
Winner, Prix de l’Association des librairies du Québec
Winner, Adrienne-Choquette Literary Prize