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Written by Claudine Dumont

Translated by David Scott Hamilton

  • 200 Pages
  • 9781487000516
  • 8" x 5.25"
  • FICTION / Literary
  • FICTION / Suspense


Publication Date August 22, 2015

In the spirit of Emma Donoghue’s international bestseller Room, Captive throws readers into the mind of a woman who wakes to find herself in a terrifying and surreal situation: she’s confined to a small grey room and she has no idea why she’s there.

Emma has an unremarkable life, a mundane job, and very little contact with her family and friends. Night after night she drinks to forget until one evening she’s jolted out of her routine. She wakes up in a concrete room furnished with only a mattress and a ceiling lamp. Emma is seized by terror. She feels real emotion for the first time in a long time. She tries to make sense of what is happening to her, where she is, who has taken her, and why. As the days, weeks, and possibly months pass she develops a routine that helps her survive her circumstances. But just as Emma begins to find comfort in her routine she receives another terrifying jolt and she must adapt to new circumstances. Her mysterious captors subject her to various tests that push her to her limit and make her question everything about herself, including her will to survive.

Captive is a harrowing, suspenseful, and hypnotic debut about honesty and freedom and the importance of living meaningfully and truthfully.

Short-listed for the Governor General's LIterary Awards (French to English Translation) 2015


Claudine Dumont

Claudine Dumont is a writer, teacher, and photographer. Captive is her first novel.

David Scott Hamilton

David Scott Hamilton is a literary translator. His translation of Nelly Arcan's final novel, Paradis, clef en main (Exit, Anvil Press 2011) was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award and named a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. He received his second GGLA nomination for his translation of Claudine Dumont's Anabiose (Captive, House of Anansi 2015). He lives in Montreal.


"an exhilarating read…the suspense and physical action is relentless until the bombshell ending" Metro

"Everything hinges on Dumont’s ability to make you feel Emma’s confusion, panic and anger, and happily…that’s exactly what she does, aided by David Scott Hamilton’s translation." Montreal Gazette

"short and intense…a book well worth picking up." National Post

"Claudine Dumont captures this frightening situation with such accuracy and incredible depth. It feels like you are reading a book in 3D" Sukasa Reads blog

"A concise literary thriller with an ending that actually made me do a double-take." Special Edition blog