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Marie Hélène Poitras

Soudain le Minotaure

(Suddenly The Minotaure)

176 pages | Janvier 2022 | Couverture : Henrik Uldalen

In this terse, prize-winning novel, Marie Hélène Poitras, with an imagination tutored by the Minotaur myth, offers a controversial tale about a thug who exults in his ferocious urges and is as incorrigible as a primal force. Torrès (the bull) enthusiastically and unapologetically seeks hectic transcendence through rape and recurring fits of epilepsy. Ariane (Ariadne), straying into his twisted, downtown Montreal labyrinth, suffers the consequences of his random sexual predation, though significantly, her refusal to be a terrorized and passive victim haunts him.

Ariane’s deliverance from his maze, her conquest of persistent fears, is prolonged past her assailant’s capture. Once more she must learn to live and love – in particular, men – to pick up and follow the thread of human trust, to feel sure again about her flat’s dark places and her walk-in cupboard’s contents. On the site of the Berlin Wall, in a reunified Germany that has survived its own and other regimes’ violent perversions, she permits herself to be gently hoisted up and passed from palm-to-palm over a vast and joy-filled crowd.

Prix Anne-Hébert
Coup de coeur Renaud-Bray
Marie Helene Poitras Crédit photo Charles-Olivier Michaud


Marie Hélène Poitras

Born in 1975, Marie Hélène Poitras received the Anne-Hébert Award for her first novel Soudain le Minotaure. La mort de mignonne et autres histoires (2005) was short-listed for the Quebec Booksellers Award. In 2012, she published Griffintown, a novel inspired by the Montreal neighbourhood of the same name, winner of the France-Quebec Award and a finalist for the Ringuet Prize. La desiderata is Poitras’ third book with Alto.

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