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category: Fiction
published: Aug 2020
publisher: Anvil Press


by Marie-Sissi Labrèche, translated by Melissa Bull

tagged: literary

Searing and lyrical, Marie-Sissi Labrèche's auto-fictional novel, Borderline, describes a young girl's experience growing up in Montreal's working-class neighbourhood of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Raised by her "two mothers" - a stern grandmother and a mother struggling with schizophrenia, the story's protagonist, Sissi, is artistic, feral, fragile, insightful, and wild. The novel flicks between the traumas of Sissi's young childhood and early adulthood, spinning a web of connections between her history and the stories she begins to unspool as she studies writing in school. Raw, violent, and at times absurd, Borderline treats all things - the city, class, education, mental health, despair, sexuality, love, and art, with an unflinching, unblinking regard.

About the Authors

Marie-Sissi Labrèche

Melissa Bull

Contributor Notes

Marie-Sissi Labrèche is a writer and journalist based in Montreal. Born in 1969, Labrèche is the author of seven books. Borderline, her first novel, was published in 2000. The book was adapted into an award-winning film, also called_ Borderline_, in 2008.

Melissa Bull is a writer and editor, as well as a French-to-English translator of fiction, essays, and plays. Melissa is the editor of Maisonneuve magazine's "Writing from Quebec" column. Her fiction, nonfiction, translations, and poetry have appeared in such publications as Event, Nouveau Projet, Joyland, NewPoetry, SubTerrain, Lemon Hound, Urbania, The Puritan, and Prism International. She is the author of a collection of poetry Rue (2015), which was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Debut-litzer Award, and the Fred Kerner Award. She is the translator of Nelly Arcan's collection Burqa of Skin (2014), and her translation of Marie-Sissi Labrèche's novel, Borderline (2019) is forthcoming. The Knockoff Eclipse is her first collection of short fiction. Melissa lives in Montreal.

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