The Divinity Gene by Matthew J. Trafford

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Trafford does not traffic in the trappings of mimetic realism, preferring instead to focus on elements of the fantastical: angels, mermaids and the living dead — “the stuff of collective dreams” — all make appearances in his fiction.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

A mob of teens descends upon Paris in the thrall of a self-help author; a grotesque yard-sale statuette frees a dying man from his silence; the hottest club in town is staffed by angels. This is the uncanny world of The Divinity Gene, Matthew J. Trafford's debut story collection, and it bristles with humour, pathos, and imaginative power.

Skewering urban culture even as it conjures up the magic in the mundane, the stories of The Divinity Gene map the frailty of the human heart. Caught in the crosshairs of faith and science, its characters-bereaved, sidelined, cast adrift-journey forth to undiscovered places, in search of something to believe in, someone to love, always with disarming results. A passionately devout scientist clones Jesus Christ from the DNA contained in holy relics; a man makes a Faustian cyber deal with the devil for the sake of his family; bereaved parents sign on for an unorthodox government reparations project following a school tragedy.

Masterfully original, deeply human, The Divinity Gene introduces a bold and evocative new writer.
 

About Matthew J. Trafford

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Matthew J. Trafford's fiction has appeared in The Malahat Review and Matrix and has been anthologized in I.V. Lounge Nights and Darwin's Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow. He has won the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction and an honourable mention at the National Magazine Awards and has twice been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Prize. He lives in Toronto, where he works with deaf college students and performs long-form improv with his brother in their two-person troupe, The Bromos.
 
Published February 12, 2011 by Douglas & McIntyre. 202 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Divinity Gene
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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Steven W. Beattie on Feb 25 2011

Trafford does not traffic in the trappings of mimetic realism, preferring instead to focus on elements of the fantastical: angels, mermaids and the living dead — “the stuff of collective dreams” — all make appearances in his fiction.

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