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Written by Claudine Dumont

Translated by David Scott Hamilton

  • 200 Pages
  • 9781487000523
  • 8" x 5.25"
  • FICTION / Literary
  • FICTION / Suspense



Publication Date August 09, 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 Award (French to English Translation) 2015


Claudine Dumont

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

David Scott Hamilton
David Scott Hamilton was born in Adelaide, South Australia. He was educated in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, before settling in Vancouver, B.C. He studied linguistics and French at Simon Fraser University, and French literature and law at the University of Ottawa. He has worked as a freelance translator since 1995, most notably for the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. Exit, his translation of Nelly Arcan’s final novel, Paradis, clef en main, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation and named a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. He lives in Montreal.


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

"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

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

"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

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