The Party Wall

Catherine Leroux, translated by Lazer Lederhendler

The Party Wall

Catherine Leroux's The Party Wall shifts between and ties together stories about pairs joined in surprising ways. A woman learns that she may not be the biological mother of her own son despite having given birth to him; a brother and sister unite, as their mother dies, to search for their long-lost father; two young sisters take a detour home, unaware of the tragedy that awaits; and a political couple - when the husband accedes to power in a post-apocalyptic future state - is shaken by the revelation of their own shared, if equally unknown, history. Lyrical, intelligent and profound, The Party Wall is luminously human, a surreally unforgettable journey through the barriers that can both separate us and bring us together. (From Biblioasis)

The Party Wall won the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for translation (French to English).

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Excerpt:

She is not shocked when the doctor announces the test results, but Édouard's shoulders collapse. The doctor tries to reassure them: since he is young and does not smoke his case ranks as top priority for an organ donation. From the doctor's tone of voice, Madeleine can easily see he still has not told them everything, and a little voice inside her silently implores him to hurry up.

"Édouard, I'd like to speak with your mother in private, if you don't mind. You can wait outside and fill out the forms in the meantime."

Édouard does as he's asked. The doctor turns to Madeleine and his expression grows solemn.

"Madame Sicotte, the tests show something else I'd like to discuss with you. Frankly, I've never had to broach this sort of matter with a patient before."

Madeleine says nothing, does not tremble, stays dry-eyed. She waits for the blade to drop.


From The Party Wall by Catherine Leroux, translated by Lazer Lederhendler ©2016. Published by Biblioasis.