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by Douglas Glover
afterword by Lawrence Mathews

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literary, historical
list price: $11.99
also available: Paperback Paperback
category: Fiction
published: 2010
  • Winner, Governor General's Award
  • Short-listed, IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
  • Short-listed, Commonwealth Writer's Prize
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Winner, Governor General's Award for Fiction
Shortlisted, IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and Commonwealth Writers' Prize

A 16th-century belle turned Robinson Crusoe, a female Don Quixote with an Inuit Sancho Panza — this is the heroine of the novel that won the 2003 Governor General's Award. Elle is a lusty, subversive riff on the discovery of the New World, the moment of first contact.

Based on what might be a true story, the novel chronicles the ordeals and adventures of a young French woman marooned on the desolate Isle of Demons during Jacques Cartier's ill-fated third and last attempt to colonize Canada.

In this new readers' guide edition, Douglas Glover's carnal whirlwind of myth and story, of beauty and hilarity brings the past violently and unexpectedly into the present. His well-known scatological realism, exuberant violence, and dark, unsettling humour give his unique version of history a thoroughly modern chill.

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Editorial Reviews

"Historical fiction at its most innovative, a seriously whimsical book full of arcane lore from the first days of the European settlement of the New World. A remarkable, wondrous experience."

— Wayne Johnston

"Douglas Glover imagines our history as no one else can . . . Equal to Solomon Gursky in its contribution to Canadian mythography."

— <i>Toronto Star</i>

"A boisterously bawdy re-dreaming of the birth of the nation."

— <i>Kitchener-Waterloo Record</i>

"Knotty, intelligent, often raucously funny."

— <i>Macleans</i>

"A historical novel with a postmodern heart . . . Elle occupies a frozen nether world between fantasy and reality."

— <i>Winnipeg Free Press</i>

"Lascivious, bizarre, entertaining... Glover has a wonderful facility for imagery, language, farce, and the grotesque."

— <i>Quill & Quire</i>

"A wickedly smart narrative and a post-modern, wise-cracking approach to history."

— <i>Calgary Herald</i>

"A packed read, delivering imagery, history, humour, and wonderfully creative writing."

— <i>Edmonton Journal</i>

"[Elle is] a maginificent hail Mary of pure imagination... a ribald, raunchy wit with a talent for searing self-investigation... Glover's prose throughout, while being consistent in voice, is also a rich blend of elegance and punch, raw affect and slippery allusion."

— <i>Globe and Mail</i>
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About the Authors

Douglas Glover

Douglas Glover was recipient of the 2006 Writers' Trust of Canada Timothy Findley Award for his body of work. His bestselling novel Elle won the Governor-General's Award and was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. A Guide to Animal Behaviour was a finalist for the 1991 Governor-General's Award, and 16 Categories of Desire was shortlisted for the 2000 Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Award.
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Lawrence Mathews

Lawrence Mathews teaches English at Memorial University. He has published stories in numerous anthologies and journals and is the author of The Sandblasting Hall of Fame. He is a founding member of the Burning Rock, a group of Newfoundland writers that includes Michael Winter and Lisa Moore.
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