Passing Ceremony

Passing Ceremony

Written by: Weinzweig, Helen
Introduction by: Polk, Jim

The brilliant debut novel by Helen Weinzweig, one of the first feminist writers in Canada and the award-winning author of Basic Black With Pearls.

In Helen Weinzweig’s brilliant debut novel, a wedding reception becomes a gothic dream. The bride is not all she seems and there is something ambiguous about the groom — and just about everyone else at the surreal and strangely moving wedding.

Like a piece of music, Passing Ceremony is composed of brief, suggestive fragments that grow into a tightly integrated whole. There are bits of real and imagined conversation; polite dialogues that slide into mad comic banality; and scenes that could be quiet nightmares out of Borges. A satire and a rueful meditation on the ways people hurt one another, Weinzweig gives us a world suspended in time, an uneasy territory of the soul, which we all inhabit.

This edition features a new introduction by Jim Polk.

The brilliant debut novel by Helen Weinzweig, one of the first feminist writers in Canada and the award-winning author of Basic Black With Pearls.

In Helen Weinzweig’s brilliant debut novel, a wedding reception becomes a gothic dream. The bride is not all she seems and there is something ambiguous about the groom — and just about everyone else at the surreal and strangely moving wedding.

Like a piece of music, Passing Ceremony is composed of brief, suggestive fragments that grow into a tightly integrated whole. There are bits of real and imagined conversation; polite dialogues that slide into mad comic banality; and scenes that could be quiet nightmares out of Borges. A satire and a rueful meditation on the ways people hurt one another, Weinzweig gives us a world suspended in time, an uneasy territory of the soul, which we all inhabit.

This edition features a new introduction by Jim Polk.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Aug 26, 2017
Specifications 128 pages | 5.5 in x 8.5 in
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Praise for Helen Weinzweig and Passing Ceremony:

“[Passing Ceremony] crackles with the energy of chance. Its form seems built from mysterious, unconscious forces … As a whole, the powerful novel resembles a shattered reflection in a mirror, each page a different-sized shard of a splintered psyche … There’s a reason people are returning to [Helen Weinzweig’s] work now. Her art was committed to unshackling us from the illusion of any form of certainty — to keeping the unknown, unknown.” — Literary Review of Canada

“A remarkable piece of writing.” — Toronto Star

“Polished, forceful, and poetic.” — Ottawa Citizen

“An unmistakable signature of a true artist.” — Books In Canada

“Handled with skill.” — Chatelaine

“A brilliant first work of fiction.” — Edmonton Journal

“Challenging and sophisticated.” — Quarry

Praise for Helen Weinzweig and Basic Black with Pearls:

Toronto Book Award Winner

“Thirty-five years after its initial publication and a hundred years since Weinzweig’s birth, Basic Black with Pearls is getting an admirable posthumous reissue via House of Anansi’s A-List series, asserting its relevance decades after it won the 1981 Toronto Book Award.” — Globe and Mail

“I must concede that Basic Black with Pearls is so good as to have been well worth the exhilarating wait.” — National Post

“[Basic Black With Pearls] is being rediscovered and acclaimed as a milestone in the history of Canadian women writers.” — Toronto Star

“Glittering, uncomfortable, one-of-a-kind fiction … a daydream-spectacular, heavy on scenes from a rotten childhood and lightly dipped in madness — all of it delivered with spotlight-sharp images and iron-grey wit.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A funny and smart feminist classic that begs for rediscovery.” — 49th Shelf

Praise for Helen Weinzweig and A View From the Roof:

Finalist, Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction

“A neat juggling of actuality and surreality is one of the things that makes [Helen Weinzweig] such an extraordinary writer.” — Globe and Mail

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