Mad Shadows

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McClelland & Stewart, 1990 - Fiction - 125 pages
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A harrowing pathology of the soul, Mad Shadows centres on a family group: Patrice, the beautiful and narcissistic son; his ugly and malicious sister, Isabelle-Marie; and Louise, their vain and uncomprehending mother. These characters inhabit an amoral universe where beauty reflects no truth and love is an empty delusion. Each character is ultimately annihilated by their own obsessions.

Acclaimed and reviled when it exploded on the Quebec literary scene in 1959, Mad Shadows initiated a new era in Quebec fiction.

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This was Canadian author Marie-Claire Blais’s first book. It was published in 1959 and translated from the French by Daphne Marlatt in 1960. Blais was a winner of the French language Governor General ... Read full review


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About the author (1990)

Marie Claire Blais, 1939 - French-Canadian writer Marie Claire Blais was born in 1939. Her first published novel, "La Belle Bete" (1959; Mad Shadows, 1960), was received with mixed reviews. It tells the story of a family in her native Quebec Province that is shut off from other people and love. Blais has also written plays and poetry and used poetic techniques in the novella "Le Jour est Noir" (1962; The Day is Dark, 1967). Her best known novel, "Une Saison dans la Vie d'Emmanuel" (1965; A Season in the Life of Emmanuel, 1966), won France's Prix Medicis and tells the bleak story of people trapped in their worn degraded, poverty-stricken worlds.

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