The Origin of Species

Nino Ricci

The Origin of Species

Set in Montreal in 1986, The Origin of Species is the story of a 30-something Alex Fratarcangeli ("I can't even pronounce it myself," he admits to an acquaintance), plagued by a familiar sense of being a fraud in all aspects of his life from his professional ambitions to his romantic involvements. Alex is by all accounts an unexceptional man, save for the fact that he is haunted by an extraordinary experience in the Galapagos Islands, the consequences of which threaten to upend the precarious balance of his ordinary life.(From Doubleday Canada)

The Origin of Species won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 2008 and was a finalist for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Canada and the Caribbean.

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The crater held a circle of stars above them as if they were closed up in a snow globe, a private cosmos. He thought of Darwin sleeping out on the pampas during his Beagle trip, a middle-class white kid traveling the world, the first of the backpackers. It was only afterwards, really, that he had made any sense of what he had seen. Alex wondered what, in the fullness of time, he himself would make sense of, what small, crucial detail might be lodging itself in his brain that would shake his life to its foundations.

From The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci © 2008. Published by Doubleday Canada.