Listening for Jupiter (2017)

Set in London, Bilbao, Alabama, Montauk, and more, this fresh, international novel weaves the fates of two unlikely friends whose days and nights are filled with movies and music, sleeping pills and shooting stars. A beautiful piece of magical realism with a modern, existential twist.

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March soon, and it’s already 28°C in Montreal. Hollywood is living a dead-end life working at the local graveyard. Meanwhile, it’s snowing non-stop all over Europe and in Toronto, where Xavier works for a pharmaceutical company he couldn’t care less about. The two meet somewhere in between… only ever in their dreams.

Fresh, international
Magical realism with a modern, existential twist
Resolutely contemporary

Written by Pierre-Luc Landry
Translated by Arielle Aaronson and Madeleine Stratford
218 pages • 9781771860987 • 8.5″ x 5.5″
FICTION / Literary
Publication Date: June 1, 2017



Winner, Expozine Best Book Award 2017

Winner, Ottawa Book Award (French fiction) 2016



“It’s an intriguing novel about the biggest of topics – the nature of truth and existence, the conditions for real human connection – which Landry orchestrates with ingenuity and dry wit into an offbeat kind of cosmic road-movie (…) Listening for Jupiter has the sparse prose of a ‘dirty realist’ like Carver, while the two central characters exude the restless, cool existential ennui of a character from Kerouac, had that other Canadian been able in a parallel world to read Murakami – there’s the same epistemological uncertainty.” (Simon Lavery, Tredynas Days)

charmingly fantastic” (Montreal Review of Books)

inventive … This adventurous, improbable novel, which leaves readers wondering whether the two characters are, in fact, two different destinies of the same person, is an intelligent take on a hybrid of literary and genre writing.” (Publishers Weekly)

Listening for Jupiter matches a winter night. It drifts like a cold snow in the dark sky, snow fills the book itself, and it’s got a dreamy strangeness to prepare you for sleep.” (P.T. Smith, book reviewer)

“a masterful accomplishment” (James Fisher, Miramichi Reader)

Listening for Jupiter isn’t LGBT Fiction. It’s a concise, dreamy, breathtaking novel in which two men fall for one another; I won’t say which two men and spoil it for you more than I already have. Their attraction isn’t a main point in the narrative, nor is it an awkward footnote: it just happens, as naturally as it might happen in real life. (…) You should read Listening for Jupiter for its beautiful language, engaging dialogue and genuinely unique story, or because it’s whimsical, funny, heartfelt and pleasantly absurd, but I wouldn’t blame you if you read it because you’re thirsty for queer representation.” (Roni Simunovic, Geist)

“I loved the book despite the occasional confusion (…) Listening for Jupiter is an intriguing light read, a novel blurring the lines between dreams and reality. (…) I’d chalk it up as another success for a young publisher building a brand (c.f. Peirene Press, And Other Stories), with the blending of voices by the two translators building on their promise to do things differently.” (Tony’s Reading List)

QC Fiction are translating some wonderful lit from the French-speaking part of Canada … Listening for Jupiter is a classic piece of what I would call Gen X lit mixed with a work of magic realism (…) a trip into a world that may not be real.” (Stuart John Allen, Winstondad’s Blog)

“Jupiter is a cockeyed chronicle of a world only slightly different from our own, or perhaps just a few years into our future, when climate change has accelerated and done permanent harm to the old seasonal rhythms. Weather is destabilized, and with it seemingly these characters’ sense of reality. Dreams are indistinguishable from memory, and characters disappear without warning, only to turn up halfway around the globe, still retaining intimate knowledge of one another’s lives. And down atop all of them rains a steady celestial precipitation— meteorites, shooting stars, bits of space debris that fall to Earth, leaving craters, damaging buildings, frequently setting off explosions.” (The Literary Review of Canada)

Listening for Jupiter is a chatty, whimsical book. The narrative bounces around geographically, from London to Montréal, Toronto to Bilbao, Alabama to Long Island, and also formally, alternating chapters narrated by Xavier and Hollywood with diary entries, poems, and the occasional email. (…) Arielle Aaronson (who translates Xavier’s sections), and Madeleine Stratford (who translates Hollywood’s), make sure that each character’s textual timbre rings true. (…) They have done a superb job making Landry’s multi-voiced novel authentically multi-voiced in English.” (Alex Andriesse, Reading in Translation)

“If you’ve been looking for a novel that explores the underpinnings of reality, the material of dreams, and the almost-mystical revelations we sometimes have while just living our lives, then you need to get yourself a copy of Listening For Jupiter” (Rachel Cordasco, Speculative Fiction in Translation)

“A deceptively light story about two men sorting out the conundrums of themselves, it leaves much to consider – on perception, reality, synchronicity and meaning – after the final page” (Jade Colbert, The Globe and Mail)

Photo: Benoit Laflamme


Pierre-Luc Landry is an author, editor, and publisher and has a PhD in creative writing. He is a faculty member at the Royal Military College of Canada’s French Studies department. Listening for Jupiter is Landry’s second novel and his first to appear in translation.



Arielle Aaronson has a diploma in Translation Studies from Concordia University and an M.A. in Second Language Education from McGill University. Her first translation, 21 Days in October, was published by Baraka Books in 2013.

Madeleine Stratford is a literary translator and professor of Translation at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. In 2013, she was awarded the John Glassco Prize by the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada. She translated Marianne Apostolides at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre in 2014 and was nominated in 2016 for a Governor General’s Award for English-to-French translation.


✓ One author, two translators