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Fiction 21st Century

To See Out the Night

by (author) David Clerson

translated by Katia Grubisic

Baraka Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
21st Century, Urban Life, Short Stories (single author)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price

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After a man inadvertently swallows an insect, he withdraws from the human race; another feels an ape growing inside him; and a son struggles to decipher the meaning of his father's death. Visceral, surprising, and surreal, these twelve stories from David Clerson move from the charged darkness of the woods to the urban underground, while characters set a course to see out the night.

Scurrying insects and luminous jellyfish reveal a predatory, ever-present world of childhood fairy tales, lurking shadows, and unrelenting fevers. Individuals are swallowed up by cities and bogs in this study of nature and humanity in all their terrifying glory. Throughout, Clerson draws—and blurs—the lines between man and beast, and life and death, all beneath an impassive, ailing sky.

About the authors

David Clerson's profile page

Katia Grubisic is a writer, editor, and translator whose work has appeared in various Canadian and international publications including The Walrus, The Fiddlehead, The Globe and Mail, Grain, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Fire. Her collection What if red ran out (Goose Lane Editions, 2008) was shortlisted for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and won the 2009 Gerald Lampert award for best first book.Her book translations include Louis Patrick Leroux’s play False Starts: A Subterfuge of Excellent Wit (with Alexandre St-Laurent; Talonbooks, 2016), Martine Delvaux’s White Out (LLP, 2018), Jeanne Painchaud’s ABCMTL (ruelle, 2019), Stéphane Martelly’s Little Girl Gazelle (ruelle, 2020), Ioana Georgescu’s Daughterof Here (LLP, 2020), and Marie-Claire Blais’s Songs for Angel (House of Anansi, 2021). Her translations of David Clerson’s first novel, Brothers (QC Fiction, 2016), and of Alina Dumitrescu’s A Cemetery for Bees (LLP, 2021) were shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for translation.

Katia Grubisic's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“David Clerson is one of the best-kept secrets in Quebec literature. Absolutely fascinating!” Les Effrontées

“These short stories by David Clerson land somewhere between Kafka, Horacio Quiroga, and Raymond Carver ... Unusual, tragic, and funny.” Simon Boulerice, arts columnist

“Clerson's strange fables lend themselves to shifts in meaning, curious associations, unusual combinations.” “??” Laurence Perron, Lettres québécoises

“David Clerson has captured the malaise of our times.” Josée Boileau, Journal de Montréal

“A powerful world where the fantastic meets the organic in compelling fashion.“ Jury, Grand Prix du livre de Montréal 2019

“David Clerson toys with reality. Whether his characters are fleeing it, reinterpreting it, or trying to make sense of it, the unexpected paths they take cast our lives in a different light.>” Sophie Ouimet, La Presse

“In an apocalyptic world where myth meets dystopia, these short stories conjure up a recognizable present by drawing on the fantastical and the unusual — At once comic and profoundly melancholic, this is probably also David Clerson's most political book. He imagines (without requiring a huge leap of the imagination) a world that ignores its intellectuals as much as it does its misfits.” Dominic Tardif, Le Devoir

“A collection of short stories that reads like a thriller, tinged with horror and the uncanny. A remarkable piece of writing.” Coop Zone Bookstore

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