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Testament (Paperback) (Vickie Gendreau)
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I'm at Kingdom, corner of Saint-Laurent and Sainte-Catherine. Mindy and Trevor examine my body with their sticky hands. Nikky is beautiful. More beautiful than me. More fluid than me. I'm always falling down. I close my eyes, I open my eyes. It is June 6, 2012. I'm at the Notre-Dame Hospital. The doctors tell me I have a cloud tumour in my brain stem.I close my eyes, I open my eyes. I'm in New York. In front of the cage of fennec foxes at the Brooklyn Zoo. I got special permission to pet them. I close my eyes, I open my eyes. I see Austria, I meet Ulrich Seidl. He tells me about his next film. I close my eyes, I open my eyes. I'm at a noise show with the dudes from Granular Synthesis. I close my eyes. I keep them closed a long time. I will do none of these things.On Sunday, I'll go to Beautys with my friends, drink a Cookies & Cream milkshake. That, I'll do. Eyes open, wide.On June 6, 2012, Vickie Gendreau was diagnosed with a brain tumour. In between treatments, between hospital stays and her "room of her own," she wrote Testament, an autofictional novel in which she imagines her death and at the same time, bequeaths to her friends and family both the fragmented story of her last year and the stories of the loved ones who keep her memory alive, in language as raw and flamboyant as she was.In the teasing and passionate voice of a twenty-three year old writer, inspired as much by literature as by Youtube and underground music, Gendreau's sense of image, her relentless self-deprecation, and the true emotion in every sentence add up to an uncompromising work that reflects the life of a young woman who lived without inhibitions, for whom literature meant everything right up until the end.With its unexpectedly raw and open and somehow still occasionally funny perspective on illness, dying, and death, Testament (here translated by talented writer and translator Aimee Wall) will appeal to lovers of memoir, autofictional narrative, and readers who appreciate a palpable tension between fact and fiction.