Nominated by:

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Montreal, Canada

Saint John Free Public Library, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

Biblioasis, Canada

The Party Wall

Catherine Leroux      

Translated from the French by Lazer Lederhendler

2018 Longlist

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.

About the author

Catherine Leroux was born in 1979 in the Northern suburbs of Montreal. After holding various jobs she became a journalist and devoted herself to writing. Her first novel, Marche en forêt, was published in February 2011 by Éditions Alto.

(from publisher)

Librarians’ comments

With a great sensibility and a feel of human affiliations, Catherine Leroux offers the ambitious story of family tragedies linking and dividing their members at the same time.

The Party Wall ably represents Canada’s linguistic duality, and indeed illustrates a growing public acceptance of great writing in either language. Acclaimed author Catherine Leroux uses a prose style that is “sublime, filled with vivid imagery, startling similes, and universal truths.” (Kimbofo, Kevin from Canada). The Party Wall won the Governor General’s Award for French to English translation; was a finalist of the Giller Prize; Le mur mitoyen was awarded Prix littéraire France-Quebéc, and finalist for the Grand prix du livre de Montréal.

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