Helen with a Secret


150 pages
ISBN 1-55128-100-7
DDC C813'.54





Translated by Gail Scott

Marguerite Andersen is a professor of French Studies at the University
of Guelph. She is the author of Courts métrages et instantanés and La


Michael Delisle has published two novels and received the coveted Emile
Nelligan Prize for his poetry. He reveals a talent for short stories in
this fine collection of seven stories about troubled childhoods and
adolescences. “Fallow Ground” tells the story of a single mother and
her two gifted sons, one of whom sculpts the most astonishing wooden
miniatures. In “Prayers for Edmond,” Miranda, Edmond’s mother,
prays that he will enter the priesthood, but he drinks during evening
boat rides and eventually drowns in the lake close to their home.
Another story tells of the strange relationship between an aged aunt and
her nephew who, she knows, dislikes her. In “Javex,” a daughter
spends her days in the laundry room of her father’s hairdressing
school and her lonely evenings writing a thesis titled “The
Pornographer Ellipsis.”

Much like Marie-Claire Blais, Delisle uses poetic language in a way
that makes the woes of the world he depicts somehow more bearable.


Delisle, Michael., “Helen with a Secret,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/9833.