The Full Catastrophe

The Full Catastrophe

Written by: Cook, Méira

The Full Catastrophe is the story of Charlie Minkoff, a thirteen-year-old boy born with intersex traits, and his grandfather, Oscar, a ninety-year-old Holocaust survivor and Charlie’s best friend and confidante. Because the Nazis disrupted Oscar’s opportunity for a bar mitzvah, Charlie decides to right the historical wrong and arrange for a joint bar mitzvah for himself and his zeide.

Living with his artist mother in a derelict loft in downtown Winnipeg, perpetually wondering about the Orthodox Jewish father who abandoned him, and tormented in school because of his biological differences, Charlie navigates assorted catastrophes thanks to his grandfather’s love and the makeshift family who surround him: his mother’s best friend Weeza, a couple of elderly shut-in neighbours, a mysterious girl in his class who has dark secrets of her own, and his desperately needy and perpetually flatulent dog, Gellman.

The Full Catastrophe is a novel of psychological complexity, tenderness, humour, and community. It is about becoming men; a novel of secrets and the journeys these secrets propel.

The Full Catastrophe is the story of Charlie Minkoff, a thirteen-year-old boy born with intersex traits, and his grandfather, Oscar, a ninety-year-old Holocaust survivor and Charlie’s best friend and confidante. Because the Nazis disrupted Oscar’s opportunity for a bar mitzvah, Charlie decides to right the historical wrong and arrange for a joint bar mitzvah for himself and his zeide.

Living with his artist mother in a derelict loft in downtown Winnipeg, perpetually wondering about the Orthodox Jewish father who abandoned him, and tormented in school because of his biological differences, Charlie navigates assorted catastrophes thanks to his grandfather’s love and the makeshift family who surround him: his mother’s best friend Weeza, a couple of elderly shut-in neighbours, a mysterious girl in his class who has dark secrets of her own, and his desperately needy and perpetually flatulent dog, Gellman.

The Full Catastrophe is a novel of psychological complexity, tenderness, humour, and community. It is about becoming men; a novel of secrets and the journeys these secrets propel.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Jun 7, 2022
Specifications 348 pages | 5.25 in x 8 in
Written By

MÉIRA COOK is the award-winning author of the novels Once More With Feeling; The House on Sugarbush Road, which won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award; and Nightwatching, which won the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. She has also published five poetry collections, most recently Monologue Dogs, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry and for the 2016 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. She has won the CBC Poetry Prize and the inaugural Walrus Poetry Prize. She has served as Writer in Residence at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, and the Winnipeg Public Library. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, she now lives in Winnipeg.