Blood Fable--the new work of fiction from Oisín Curran--is a Jules Verne-esque fantastical tale filled with Back-to-the-Land ideology and American Zen Buddhism.
In 1980, New Pond, a utopian Buddhist community on the coast of Maine is on the verge of collapse. New Pond's charismatic leader demands complete adherence to his authority, and slowly, his followers come to the realization that they've been exploited for too long. The eleven-year-old son of one of those adherents is dimly aware of the concerns of the adult world. Yet his imagination provides a refuge both from the difficulties of his parents' lives--including his mother's newly discovered cancer--and from the boredom and casual brutality of school.
To distract his parents and himself from their collective troubles, the boy claims to remember his own life before birth--an epic tale about the search for a lost city made up of the boy's own experiences refracted through the lens of the adventure stories he loves. As the world around them falls apart, the boy and his parents find that his strange story often seems to predict the events taking place in the world around them.
Praise for Blood Fable:
“A family drama, a fantastical voyage, and a poetic reflection on love, death and betrayal, this extraordinary coming-of-age novel exposes the difficult relationship between free-thought and blind faith, evasion and enlightenment. Oisín Curran’s Blood Fable is an adventure for the heart
and soul.” —Johanna Skibsrud, Scotiabank Giller Prize winning author of
The Sentimentalists and Quartet for the End of Time
“This careful and loving rendering of a child’s mind proves that acts of storytelling were once not so much vehicles for escape but instead crucial rehearsals for being. A remembrance of lost time—or maybe, to reference its Buddhist undergirding, an alaya-vijnana, a storehouse
consciousness—Curran’s vision of boyhood is perfect in details and sublimely moving. Blood Fable is a magnificent double take, which—like a bistable optical illusion (duck or rabbit?) —allows two universes to coexist. A rapturous adventure tale where the very essence
of adventure is subverted so that fantasy and reality conflate; this is done not for temporary trickery but to deepen our comprehension of the real.” —Eugene Lim, author of Dear Cyborgs
“Blood Fable is, for me, a perfect book; it is the novel I always wish I were reading. In its twin stories—one of an eleven-year-old boy and his flawed, beloved parents and the other a wild
tale of love, peril, and adventure across underground tunnels and seas—are all the wonder and terror of childhood, refracted by a luminous imagination. Through the wide eyes of a child, Curran plumbs the world of adults with compassion and acuity. Blood Fable is a quest, a
question, a story of searching—for understanding, insight, heroes—and of failing, finding in their stead the imaginative mercy of love. This is a joy of a novel, glittering, wondrous, and strange. I remain in its thrall.” —Rebecca Silver Slayter, author of In the Land of Birdfishes
Oisín Curran grew up in rural Maine. He received a BA in Classics and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University (where he was the recipient of a national scholarship and a writing fellowship), and a diploma in Translation (French to English) from Concordia University. He is the author of Mopus (2008), and was named a "Writer to Watch" by CBC: Canada Writes. Curran lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, with his wife and two children.
Launches in Toronto, Halifax and Montreal.
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