Vandal Love: A Novel

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Milkweed Editions, 2006 - Fiction - 341 pages
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An astonishing novel of epic ambition, Vandal Love--winner of the prestigious Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best first book in 2007--follows generations of a unique French-Canadian family across North America and through the twentieth century.

A family curse--a genetic trick resulting from centuries of hardship--causes the Herv children to be born either giants or runts. Book One follows the giants' line, exploring Jude Herv 's career as a boxer in Georgia and Louisiana in the 1960s, his escape from that brutal life alone with his baby daughter Isa, and her eventual decision to enter into a strange, chaste marriage with a much older man. Book Two traces a different kind of life entirely, as the runts of the family discover that their power lies in a kind of unifying love. Fran ois seeks the identity of his missing father for years, while his own son, Harvey, flees from modern society into spiritual quests. But none of the Herv s can abandon their longing for a place where they might find others like themselves.

In assured and mystically powerful prose, Deni Y. B chard tells a wide-ranging, spellbinding story of a family trying to create an identity in an unwelcoming landscape. Imbued throughout with a deep sensitivity to the physical world, Vandal Love is a breathtaking literary debut about the power of love to create and destroy--in our lives, and in our history.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Even better than his simultaneously published memoir (Cures for Hunger), Béchard's haunting first novel follows three generations that can't find a home in this world.Native soil for the Hervé family ... Read full review

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Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23

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About the author (2006)

Deni Y. Béchard's first novel, Vandal Love, (Doubleday Canada, 2006) won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for the best first book in the entire British Commonwealth. He has been a fellow at MacDowell, Jentel, the Edward Albee Foundation, Ledig House, the Anderson Center, and the Vermont Studio Center, among others. His articles, stories and translations have appeared in a number of magazines and newspapers, among them the National Post, the Harvard Review and the Harvard Divinity Bulletin. He has done freelance reporting from Iraq, Afghanistan, and has lived in and traveled through over thirty countries. When not traveling, he divides his time between Japan, Cambridge, and Montréal. Cures for Hunger and Vandal Love are his first?and simultaneous?book-length publications in the United States.

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