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My Dinosaur

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There's a real fascination with fathers in Québécoise literature, and this recurring persona populates fiction, films, and the stories people tell of their families and themselves. Thus, it's not surprising that, as he witnessed his own father's growing frailty, François Turcot-one of Quebec's most celebrated young literary voices-would write his own dedication to his vanished father, entitled My Dinosaur. In this, his first collection of poems to be published in English (and translated by renowned poet Erín Moure), Turcot pays tribute not just to the father, but also to the figure of the son, and to writing itself as key to story, emotion, memory, and history.

With luminous and lucid writing, Turcot excavates the fossil gaze of his father in an elated elegy composed of poems both tensed and open, minimalist and talkative, serious and droll, alternating the voice and writings of the father with the fictions and assemblies of the son-reminding us that a man's story can only be told by assembling the shreds and bits that have been accumulated over the course of our lives.

As a prolonged metaphor for the endurance of memory, Turcot's meticulous assembly in My Dinosaur is a tribute to all our Dads.

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Praise for Mon dinosaure:

"Mon dinosaure offers a strong reading experience, Borgesian in a way, where form, robust and demanding, combines with content both humble and sensitive, hold up in an awareness of the volatility and memory of things." —Sébastien Dulude, Lettres québécoises

"This kind of work is magnificent. Here's a well-constructed book that not only offers itself the pleasure of speaking of the life beyond death, but establishes a dialogue between lost loves." —Hugues Corriveau, Le Devoir

"Assembled using a variety of materials (prose, verse, letters), Mon dinosaure catalogues a sort of Father-constellation, fragmented into several utterances of memories filtered by a type of poetry which weighs up its effects and fears boastfulness more than anything…. More than just a book on the father figure, Mon dinosaure highlights the essential share of fiction that fuels and shapes memory." —Dominique Tardif, Voir

"François Turcot speaks of the death of the father in Mon dinosaure, a singular book that opts for a poetic approach which is both stimulating and original." —Denise Brassard, Voix et images

"Throughout this magnificent collection, we find fragments of memory that bring a father (the author’s) back to life. Oscillating between the shadows and the light, François Turcot presents his lines as though they were archaeological material and reminds us that (hi)story is made of fragments, which can only be told 'shred by shred.' The father has lost his diary he called his 'Book of Hours,' and so that’s what the son will try to piece back together. The result is both disturbing and brilliant." éManon Trépanier, Radio-Canada/La librarie francophone

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Jacob Wren makes literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include: Unrehearsed Beauty, Families Are Formed Through Copulation, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed and Polyamorous Love Song (a finalist for the 2013 Fence Modern Prize in Prose and one of the Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2014). As co-artistic director of Montréal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART he has co-created the performances: En français comme en anglais, it’s easy to criticize, Individualism Was A Mistake, The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information and Every Song I’ve Ever Written. He travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art.

 
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