By Sheila Heti
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374277543, 128pp.)
Publication Date: April 4, 2006
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“A small masterpiece” (National Post)—An utterly original first novel from a rising international star
On a cold, rainy night, an aging bachelor named George Ticknor prepares to visit his childhood friend Prescott, now one of the leading intellectual lights of their generation. Reviewing a life of petty humiliations, and his friend’s brilliant career, Ticknor sets out for the dinner party—a party at which he’d just as soon never arrive.
Distantly inspired by the real-life friendship between the great historian William Hickling Prescott and his biographer, Ticknor is a witty, fantastical study in resentment. It recalls such modern masterpieces of obsession as Thomas Bernhard’s The Loser and Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine and announces the arrival of a charming and original novelist, one whose stories have already earned her a passionate international following.
“A perceptive act of ventriloquism, [Ticknor] rewards thought and rereading, and offers a finely cadenced voice, intelligence and . . . moody beauty.” —Catherine Bush, The Globe and Mail
“Confoundedly strange [and] fascinating.” —Nicholas Dinka, Quill & Quire
Sheila Heti is the author of The Middle Stories and a founder of the Trampoline Hall lecture series. Her full-length musical, All Our Happy Days Are Stupid, will tour Canada in 2006. She lives in Montreal.