Nominated by:

Edmonton Public Library, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

Linda Leith Publishing, Canada

Love Letters of the Angels of Death

Jennifer Quist      

2015 Longlist

A breathtaking literary debut, Love Letters of the Angels of Death begins as a young couple discover the remains of his mother in his mobile home. The rest of the family fall back, leaving them to reckon with the messy, unexpected death. By the time the burial is over, they understand this will always be their role: to liaise with death on behalf of people they love. They are living angels of death. All the major events in their lives – births, medical emergencies, a move to a northern boomtown, the theft of a veteran’s headstone – are viewed from this ambivalent angle. In this shadowy place, their lives unfold: fleeting moments, ordinary occasions, yet on the brink of other-worldliness. In spare, heart-stopping prose, the transient joys, fears, hopes and heartbreaks of love, marriage and parenthood are revealed through the lens of the eternal, unfolding within the course of natural life.

A novel for everyone who has ever been happily married – and for everyone who would like to be.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Jennifer Quist is a novelist, poet, columnist and short fiction writer. Her short fiction Fish Story was nominated for the Writer’s Guild of Alberta’s Howard O’Hagan Award. Her poetry, short fiction and essays have been published in The Globe and Mail, National Post, Macleans and Today’s Parent, and she has written and voiced introspective personal essays for CBC Radio One’s Definitely Not the Opera and Tapestry. Love Letters of the Angels of Death is her first novel.

Librarian’s Comments

Quist’s novel presents a rare second-person voice that has a wonderfully intimate tone. Brigs and Carrie are the kind of people who will always be asked to deal with the deaths in the family. They are the living angels of death, living their own joys and heartbreaks. “A surprising, thoughtful and captivating debut that uses death to illuminate all that is at stake in life itself” Michael Hingston, Edmonton Journal, Sept 6, 2013

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