6×9 inches, 372 pages
$20 CDN / $17 US
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Missing the Ark is the highly anticipated first novel from acclaimed spoken word artist Catherine Kidd. It is the story of Agnes Underhill and her attempt to keep possession of her newborn daughter amid the demons of her past. Growing up in East Van in the 80s, her active but troubled imagination makes it difficult to live with her dysfunctional family: her Scottish father speaks in tongues and lives in a locked basement room until he disappears, while her dental hygienist mother criticizes her parenting and juggles a number of lovers.
The novel follows Agnes’ relationship with Buffalo man, a divorced taxidermist whom she follows home from the Stanley Park Zoo, and the jealous chimpanzee who lives with him. Much of the story takes place in the colourful world of Agnes’ memory, where her obsession with biology compels her to seek deeper meaning beneath the surface of things. This is a novel about memory and perception, exploring the thin line between what is inside and what is out, what is seen and what cannot be known. Kidd’s language is precise and powerful. This is a rich, complex, intelligent first novel by a very talented writer.
“She takes little shreds of language and lifts them up and turns them in the light, holding them, playing with them — searching them for meaning as if they were toys that had just come out of a black box, without instructions.”
— Montreal Gazette
Also by Catherine Kidd: Sea Peach and bipolar bear