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House of Anansi Press

Sandra Beck

Written by John Lavery

Published September 25, 2010 | ISBN 9780887842788
FICTION / Literary

Cover of Sandra Beck

Regular price $16.95 CAD

272 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

Sandra Beck

John Lavery

No writer in Canada today is more in love with the English, and French, languages than John Lavery. That love is gloriously requited. In inventive, incantatory prose, Sandra Beck, his long-awaited first novel, paints a very unusual portrait of a lady. This is a book about many things: the struggling antics of adolescence, the banal delusions of solitude, the city of Montreal. But it is, above all, a deeply moving tribute to a woman who is both present and absent on every page.

Who is Sandra Beck? She is a mother, a wife, a musician, a manager; but, too, she is the ghost in the seat behind us, always just outside the edges of easy description. Her story is told in the voices of others - namely, her daughter, the wordstruck and lovestruck Josee and her husband, the police chief and TV personality P. F. Bastarache. In a book that embraces paradox and defies the expected limits of what a novel can do, language is at once a gleeful celebration and a crutch, a trick. Despite their keen investigative powers, the "testimony" of Josee and her father is often untrustworthy, even contradictory: self-interest hobbles their understanding. Sandra herself becomes a crutch for them both - a crutch they must learn to live without.

About the Author

John Lavery

John Lavery (1949–2011) was the author of the novel Sandra Beck, and two acclaimed story collections, Very Good Butter and You, Kwaznievski, You Piss Me Off.

Awards and Praise
You’ll read John Lavery for the wildly energetic prose and for his surprising grasp of imagery. You’ll turn the pages to delight in the language...There’s something for just about everybody in Sandra Beck.
  • Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year, 2010