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Testament

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On June 6, 2012, Vickie Gendreau was diagnosed with a brain tumour. In between treatments, between hospital stays and her "room of her own," she wrote Testament, an autofictional novel in which she imagines her death and at the same time, bequeaths to her friends and family both the fragmented story of her last year and the stories of the loved ones who keep her memory alive, in language as raw and flamboyant as she was.

In the teasing and passionate voice of a twenty-three-year-old writer, inspired as much by literature as by YouTube and underground music, Gendreau's sense of image, her relentless self-deprecation, and the true emotion in every sentence add up to an uncompromising work that reflects the life of a young woman who lived without inhibitions, for whom literature meant everything right up until the end.

In this way, Testament (translated by talented writer and translator Aimee Wall), inverts the elegiac, "grief memoir" form and plays with the notion of a last testament, thereby beating any would-be eulogists to the punch.

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This novel… was felt like a literary tsunami, with the cries of her prose and the intrinsic qualities of her writing. —Jean-François Crépeau, Le Canada français

"Testament's fragmented texts alternate between the narrator’s private journal and the voices of her friends as they receive her posthumous writing. It is an uncompromising experience, brutal when you least expect it." —Chantal Guy, La Presse

"There is, in Testament, a voice, an energy, a style. Vickie Gendreau was a real talent as a writer. It won't please everyone, but it's undeniable. Yes, it's a cry, sometimes harsh, sometimes confused, it is gut-wrenching and, surprise, is also shot through with touches of humour." —Jean-Yves Girard, Chatelaine

"In addition to the confronting her own imminent mortality, Gendreau takes determined ownership of her legacy." —Steven W. Beattie, Quill and Quire

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Vickie Gendreau was born in Montréal in 1989. While working in Montréal strip clubs from October 2009 to June 2012, she was also active in the literary community, where she participated in events like the Off-Festival de poésie de Trois-Rivières. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012, and passed away a year later. Her first novel, Testament, written after her diagnosis, was published in the fall of 2012 and was longlisted for the 2013 Prix littéraire France-Quèbec. Her second novel, Drama Queens, was published in 2014.

 
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