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Undermajordomo Minor

Patrick deWitt's Scotiabank Giller Prize–longlisted novel was published in 2015.

Patrick deWitt

Lucien (Lucy) Minor is the resident odd duck in the hamlet of Bury. Friendless and loveless, young and aimless, Lucy is a compulsive liar, a sickly weakling in a town famous for begetting brutish giants. Then Lucy accepts employment assisting the majordomo of the remote, foreboding Castle Von Aux. While tending to his new post as undermajordomo, he soon discovers the place harbours many dark secrets, not least of which is the whereabouts of the castle's master, Baron Von Aux. In the local village, he also encounters thieves, madmen, aristocrats, and Klara, a delicate beauty whose love he must compete for with the exceptionally handsome partisan soldier, Adolphus. Thus begins a tale of polite theft, bitter heartbreak, domestic mystery and cold-blooded murder.

Undermajordomo Minor is a triumphant ink-black comedy of manners by the Governor General's Literary Award–winning author of The Sisters Brothers. It is an adventure, and a mystery, and a searing portrayal of rural Alpine bad behaviour, but above all it is a love story. And Lucy must be careful, for love is a violent thing. (From House of Anansi Press)

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From the book

As Lucy travelled from Mr Olderglough's room to the castle's entrance, he was struck by the fact of his enjoying the position, enjoying being told what to do, the marvellous simplicity of it. He had always sensed in his mother and father a desire for him to do something, to do anything, but they were remiss in sharing particular instructions and so, being unambitious himself, he accomplished nothing, and only continued to disappoint them. But now, all at once, he was useful, was being used, and this filled him with a sense of dignity.


From Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt ©2015. Published by House of Anansi Press.

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