Small Souls Under Siege


103 pages
ISBN 0-920953-81-6
DDC C843'.54





Translated by Robert Majzels

Marguerite Andersen is a professor of French studies at the University
of Guelph.


These 10 short stories are about people under siege: unwanted children,
lonely women longing for love, poets without a cent. Their world
consists of brothels and reformatories, abandoned apartments, bus
depots, washrooms, the underground network of subway lines and stations.
Inventive, they struggle and dream, develop strategies of resistance,
and imagine worlds that are different.

In “The Insemination of the Sky,” a woman uses her senses to
transform herself into a young tree. In “A Thousand and One
Minotaurs,” a cleaning lady avenges the murder of girl children, all
the while being strengthened in her purpose by Franz Kafka, who tells
her that “the accomplishment is never complete,” that the chain of
minotaurs is without end.

Dandurand’s breathtaking prose, well translated by Robert Majzels,
pulls the reader irresistibly into the fascinating, sometimes vicious,
world of the marginalized.


Dandurand, Anne., “Small Souls Under Siege,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024,