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also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: Apr 2018
publisher: Anvil Press Publishers

Black Star

by Maureen Medved

tagged: literary

Winner, the CAA Fred Kerner Book Award. Del Hanks is on the verge of academic tenure, but at forty she's also perched on the precipice of either the beginning or the end of the rest of her life.

Black Star is a dark comedy, both bitingly funny and transgressive, an unflinching and unsentimental exploration of the female experience, academia, and the idea of power that burns in the mind as white as acid. Medved's new novel is a searing critique of a world we all know too well, one of sexual exploitation, manipulation, and the subtle machinations of power that Black Star filters through the lens of academia. It is at once poetic, tragic, disturbing and funny.

PRAISE FOR BLACK STAR: "A "hideous narrative" about bad behaviour, Black Star elicits frequent guffaws. Philosopher-fools, what's not to like?" (Toronto Star)

"The scholarly life has lent itself to fiction and satire for decades now (centuries, if you want to go back to Chaucer). ... Delorosa Hanks, the chaotic narrator of Black Star, is the latest heir in this line. By the second sentence of the scalding new novel by Vancouver author Maureen Medved, Hanks is referring to her academic rival as 'a lesion of carcinogenic proportions capable of rotting and destroying departments'. It just gets darker, funnier, and more acidic from there." (The Georgia Straight)

"Maureen Medved masterfully explores her protagonists in all their spangled, fallible glory. Black Star plunges the reader into frantic academic rivalry. Is it paranoia or master manipulation? Every twist and turn will lead you down Medved's darkly compelling rabbit hole." (Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster) "This wild novel is a powerful exploration of imposter syndrome taken to extremes and a story of how the sadistic, competitive world of academia intersects with one woman's unraveling sense of self. Suspenseful and beautifully written." (Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People, Giller Prize Finalist)

"You can read this slender swift novel as a comedy of manners, or a sly take on the corrosions of academe, but on its lower frequencies Maureen Medved's brilliant new book is about the death of dreams and our lost hold on truth and reality, an often funny but finally harrowing look at a dystopia that's come to reside in each of our souls." (Charles D'Ambrosio, author of Loitering)

About the Author

Maureen Medved

Contributor Notes

Maureen Medved&nbspis a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright as well as&nbspan Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. Her debut novel, The Tracey Fragments, was published by House of Anansi Press, and Maureen's screen adaptation (directed by Bruce MacDonald and starring Ellen Page) opened the Panorama program of the 57th annual Berlin International Film Festival and won the Manfred Salzgeber Prize. In 2009, Medved received the Artistic Achievement Award from Women in Film and Television, Vancouver. Medved lives in Vancouver and is currently completing a third novel.

Editorial Review

Praise for&nbspThe Tracey Fragments,&nbspthe film (script by Medved, based on her novel):

"A tough watch, but a rewarding one... " (The Toronto Star)

"Powerful... fierce, enigmatic and affecting." (The New York Times)

Praise for&nbspThe Tracey Fragments,&nbspthe book:

&nbsp "Medved's debut novel provides an eerie glimpse of a raging &nbspadolescent psyche... skillfully blends&nbspTracey's frenzied facts and fictions into a cohesive portrait of a &nbspteenager on the verge of imploding... a taut, harrowing narrative." (Publisher's Weekly)

"A high-octane jaunt through the remnants of a mind shattered by trauma." (The Globe and Mail)

"Tracey's voice is acerbic, funny and totally convincing. Anyone who has been or has known a bitter and confused teenager will know where she's coming from." (Toronto Star)

"Medved brilliantly conveys the rage and frustration of a self-conscious young girl... The effect is like digging through a box full of broken stained glass and finding an exquisite shard every time." (Vancouver Magazine)

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