The Strange Truth About Us by M.A.C. Farrant
a novel of absence

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Delightful and disturbing in all the best ways, this book addresses that which mostly remains unspoken in ways that have seldom been spoken before.
-Globe and Mail


This tell-all book by M.A.C. Farrant, whom Publishers Weekly has celebrated as “a brave iconoclast” and whose work the Globe & Mail has said “bristles with moral fury … at the absurdities of our accelerated age and a great dose of laugh-out-loud humour,” offers her readers nothing less than The Strange Truth About Us.

A three-part novel-length work of prose fragments, snippets, questions, speculations, and meditations, by turns philosophical, dark, comedic, and lyrical, it attempts to imagine a multitude of possible futures for our garrisoned world.

“Annotations About an Absence” is a series of 115 numbered annotations to the day-long ruminations of a retired couple living in a gated community attempting to create an imaginary novel in which they express their fears about the future: “We attempt to express the universal confusion of mind that is the main feature of contemporary life. Which is? We are afraid.”

“Woman Records Brief Notes Regarding Absence” is written as a series of notes to these annotations, providing (in the utterly blank spirit of transparency) a running satiric narrative on the project. Each of these “notes” is written as if it were a description of a late-night TV movie or the content of a wet Jehovah’s Witness pamphlet left on a woman’s doorstep that has taken hold of her mind.

“Other Prose Surrounding Absence” comprises twenty-seven prose pieces that take aim at a globalized world bludgeoned by the threat of “end times”—climate change, species extinction, pandemics, and really bad politics—that seem designed insofar as we are able to retain our status as “individuals.”

Unique in style and approach, engaging, enigmatic, controversial, and delightful, this book is an attempt to prick the bubble of our complacency in the face of the “awful atrocity” we’ve made for ourselves.

About M.A.C. Farrant

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Born in Sydney, Australia and raised in Victoria, British Columbia, M.A.C. Farrant is the acclaimed author of nine previous collections of satirical and humorous short fiction, and two works of non-fiction. Her writing has been widely anthologized in North America and has been dramatized for television; Farrant is also a frequent contributor to leading magazines such as Adbusters and Geist. Her 2004 memoir, My Turquoise Years, is being adapted into a stage play in conjunction with the Arts Club Theatre of Vancouver; production is slated for the 2011/12 season. Farrant has taught fiction workshops in Canada and Australia. She was a visiting writer-in-residence at Macquarie University in Sydney. A full-time writer currently residing in North Saanich, B.C., she has also taught part-time at the creative writing department in the University of Victoria and reviews books for the Vancouver Sun and the Globe & Mail. Farrant’s work is infused with acerbic wit and iconoclastic innovation. As the Globe & Mail has noted, “Farrant is better at startling us with unnerving, often misanthropic visions of everyday life than perhaps any other Canadian writer”. BC Bookworld has called her “Canada’s most acerbic and intelligent humourist.”
Published August 17, 2012 by Talonbooks. 216 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction
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Globe and Mail

Reviewed by Diane Schoemperlen on Apr 27 2012

Delightful and disturbing in all the best ways, this book addresses that which mostly remains unspoken in ways that have seldom been spoken before.

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