StuntBook - 2008
Nominated for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award
Eugenia Ledoux, nine years old, wakes to a note from her father: 'gone to save the world. sorry. yours, sheb wooly ledoux. asshole.' Eugenia is left behind with her mother, the sharp-edged B-movie actress Mink, and her sister, the death-obsessed and hauntingly beautiful Immaculata. When Mink climbs into the family car and vanishes, Eugenia doubles in age overnight, butremains the dark and diminutive creature who earned the nickname 'Stunt.'
Eugenia devotes herself to finding Sheb. She writes to the man she believes to be Sheb's father: I.I. Finbar Me The Three, a retired tightrope walker. Waiting for Finbar's response, she retreats to Toronto Island, where she meets Samuel Station, a barefoot voluptuary, world traveller and ring-maker.
When Finbar does write back, Eugenia wonders if she will find what she is looking for - or something else entirely. Studded with postcards from outer space, twins, levitation, the explosion of a shoulder-pad factory, and some accomplished taxidermy, Stunt is part dirge, part cowboy poetry and part love letter to the wilder corners of Toronto and of ourselves.
'Claudia Dey's debut novel is like a snowflake, utterly unique, compellingly intricate and sparkle-riven, sharp as broken crystal and just as dazzling. Stunt is daring, poignant, full of abandon and abandonment, wistful and funny. Brilliant.' - Lisa Moore
'Dey's ... prose [is] a wondrous compression of poetry, her carnival of characters drawn in gripping detail, and the riot of fantastical yet gritty imagery all shot through with a keen and relentless sadness. The sheer density of the imagery and vivid characterizations makes you slow down to enjoy every sentence. You want to read this novel carefully; you want to read itagain.'
- The Globe and Mail
' Stunt is mesmerizing, rewarding, and breathtaking. Dey never lets up'
- Quill & Quire