Vincent returns from Montreal to Tokyo, where his lover has passed away in tragic circumstances. So begins a sensual and disturbing tale of love and grief, of foxes, artists, and taxidermy, somewhere between the Sumida River, the Tsukiji fish market, and a contemporary art gallery.
Brault flirts with magical realism and ghostly Japanese tropes beneath the bright city lights, as Vincent loses his bearings to the Tokyo tremors and goes in search of the ghost of Suzuko.
Longlisted, Prix des libraires du Québec
A very Japanese novel from Quebec
Written by Vincent Brault
Translated by Benjamin Hedley
240 pages • 978-1-77186-276-9 • 8″ x 5″
FICTION / Literary FICTION
AVAILABLE IN ALL FORMATS
Publication Date: June 1, 2022
“We leave the konbini. She opens a can of saké, we share it as we walk. The streets are livelier than ten minutes ago. Passersby, bottles in hand. Jackets unzipped. A festival atmosphere. Electronic music in front of Shinbashi station. A man with headphones, behind a folding table. Laptop. Disk players. Vinyl. Amp. Tiny flashing lights. People gathered on the sidewalk, dancing as if the earthquake of the century were about to destroy Tokyo. Moving their bodies, for no real reason, at least once before dying.”
PRAISE FOR THE GHOST OF SUZUKO
“A superb novel on absence and losing one’s bearings, as well as an ode to passion and desire, this third book by Vincent Brault is a literary project like few others in Quebec . . . the borders between dreams and reality are ambiguous to say the least.” (Gabriel Guérin, Les Libraires magazine)
“fascinating” (Tony Malone, Tony’s Reading List)
“Expertly translated by Benjamin Hedley … The Ghost of Suzuko blends magical realism and Japanese mysticism—a genre that depicts, with affection, Japan’s abundant culture of spirituality and the occult. The setting is modern, rife with dazzling technology and infrastructure—specialized ‘love hotels,’ a convenient labyrinth of subways that usher characters from scene to scene—but the story’s supernatural elements descend from centuries of legend and tradition.” (E.R. Zarevich, Mangoprism)
“a story as enchanting as it is exotic . . . The syncopated style lends the story a poetic dimension as the author shifts effortlessly from the dreamlike to the fantastic.” (Manon Dumais, Le Devoir newspaper)
“a QC Fiction book that demonstrates the style of book that sets QC Fiction out from the crowd” (James Fisher, The Miramichi Reader)
“The back and forth between past and present weaves an effective narrative where love and grief intertwine with exquisite languor . . . A short, touching novel.” (Julie Roy, L’Actualité magazine)
“A hypnotising novel . . . Journey to the frontiers of the real and the supernatural, between Montreal and Japan.” (Marie-Lise Rousseau, Métro newspaper)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vincent Brault was born in Montreal in 1978. He is the author of three novels: Le cadavre de Kowalski (2015), which was a finalist for the Prix des Rendez-vous du premier roman first novel award, La chair de Clémentine (2017), and Le fantôme de Suzuko (2021). The Ghost of Suzuko (Le fantôme de Suzuko) is his first novel to be translated into English. The French version of the novel was longlisted for the Prix des libraires du Québec, the Québec booksellers’ award.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Benjamin Hedley is a translator and bookseller from Montreal, Quebec. He has a B.A. from Concordia University in translation studies and has worked previously with QC Fiction on the short story collection I Never Talk About It. The Ghost of Suzuko is his first full-length translation.
OUR COMMITMENT TO DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
✓ A very Japanese novel from Quebec, translated by a first-time literary translator