Sistering from Linda Leith Publishing, Montreal, 2015
Featured as a “Must-Read” on CBC Books Fall 2015 Reading List.
Winner of the Association for Mormon Letters 2015 Best Novel Award
Long-listed for the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award 2016
Featured at the 2016 Leacock Summer Festival
The second novel by award-winning novelist Jennifer Quist is a black comedy of birth, death, marriage, mothers-in-law, and five sisters. When Suzanne’s role as the perfect daughter-in-law ends in a deadly accident, she panics, makes a monumentally bad decision, and upends her world. The bond with her sisters is the strongest force Suzanne knows, and it may be the one thing that can keep her from ruin. Quist’s new novel is hilarious, spine-chilling, satisfying, and original. A romp.
From Publishers Weekly, April 2016:
This is a captivating story bound to resonate with readers who have sisters, and Quist’s sharp observations of human nature and sense for comedy will entertain a broader audience.
From Leslie Greentree, 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize finalist:
Jennifer Quist has an unerring eye for excavating the absurdities and complexities of family relationships: sisters, spouses and mythical mothers-in-law. “Sistering” is by turns dark, light, and deep-black hilarious as Quist peels away the layers to reveal women who desire more than anything to simultaneously fit in and stand out. The lengths to which they go are wonderfully bizarre and surprisingly recognizable, whether you’ve hidden human remains from three governments yet or not.
From the AML judges:
Such a powerful debut [Love Letters of the Angels of Death] created high expectations for Quist’s next novel, and Sistering easily meets and exceeds these expectations, firmly establishing Quist as one of the most talented Latter-day Saint novelists writing today.
Love Letters of the Angels of Death from Linda Leith Publishing, Montreal, 2013
On Aug 3, 2013, my debut novel Love Letters of the Angels of Death was released by Montreal press Linda Leith Publishing.
Long-listed for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2015
Basis for 2014 Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Emerging Artist Award
Whitney Award finalist, 2014
Featured on CBC’s The Next Chapter “How I Wrote It”
Listed on CBC Books’ “Top Canadian Books to Give Your Loved One”
From the Reviews
“A striking examination of life and death, the work is a promising debut novel.”
– Publishers Weekly, 16 Dec. 2013
“[Quist] takes refreshing risks with the metaphoric potential of narrative voice…Love Letters of the Angels of Death conveys heartfelt authorial grasp of life’s losses…[and] gains resonance in retrospect.”
–Jim Bartley, Quill and Quire, Sept 2013
“There is great tenderness…in this powerfully emotional novel.”
–Philip Marchand, National Post, 24 Aug 2013
“A surprising, thoughtful and captivating debut that uses death to illuminate all that’s at stake in life itself.”
–Michael Hingston, Edmonton Journal, 6 Sept 2013
“Among the uniformly high standard already established by Linda Leith’s fledgling indie literary publishing house, a standout is Jennifer Quist’s debut novel.”
–Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette, Dec 2013
“Jennifer Quist’s Love Letters of the Angels of Death is formidable, a woman’s portrait of a man’s portrait of the woman he loves. It offers all the immersion and propulsion of the best fiction, but is temporally liquid in the way of lyric poetry. How does she do it? Funny, dark, deceptively ambitious. I couldn’t put it down, not only because I enjoyed it so much, but because it contained so much I had to know.”
— Padma Viswanathan, author of The Ever After of Ashwin Rao, 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist
“Jennifer Quist’s Love Letters of the Angels of Death gives new meaning to the marriage vow “Till death do us part.” This original, brilliant novel overflows with the exuberance of life shot through with the devastations of mortality. Weddings and wit, family and funerals, passion and pain, the love between the main characters ultimately defies death itself. In vivid prose consisting of a memorably distinctive narrative voice and riveting images, Quist writes of our unspoken anxieties about the plethora of dead things in our midst from dust to the incorruptible bodies of saints. Unsentimental, mordantly funny, Love Letters of the Angels of Death is innovative, surprising, at times heart-wrenching but not despairing, and always remarkable.”
— Kenneth Radu, author of Sex in Russia
“This book is that rarest of literary portraits, the story of a genuinely happy marriage…After [Jennifer Quist’s] husband lost a parent, she managed her and her husband’s grief “by tuning into his feelings and his perspective. It was a survival measure,” she says. In Love Letters, it is at the core of Carrie and Brigs’s practice of loving marriage. This radical empathy is one of the book’s joys.”
–Elise Moser, Montreal Review of Books, Summer 2013
“Love Letters of the Angels of Death is already firmly ensconced as the best book I have read in the last six months, and it will take seismic activity, an alien invasion AND some master-crafted literary marvel to make me even think of beginning to change my mind…Read it, and be changed.”
–Kellie George, Segullah Blog, Feb 2014
A breathtaking literary debut, Love Letters of the Angels of Death begins as a young couple discover the remains of his mother in her mobile home. The rest of the family fall back, leaving them to reckon with the messy, unexpected death. By the time the burial is over, they understand this will always be their role: to liaise with death on behalf of people they love. They are living angels of death.
All the major events in their lives – births, medical emergencies, a move to a northern boomtown, the theft of a veteran’s headstone – are viewed from this ambivalent angle. In this shadowy place, their lives unfold: fleeting moments, ordinary occasions, yet on the brink of otherworldliness. In spare, heart-stopping prose, the transient joys, fears, hopes and heartbreaks of love, marriage, and parenthood are revealed through the lens of the eternal, unfolding within the course of natural life.
This is a novel for everyone who has ever been happily married — and for everyone who would like to be.
Where to Find My Books
Sistering released August 15, 2015
Look for it in bookstores such as Audreys Books in Edmonton, Pages in Calgary, Sunworks in Red Deer, McNally Robinson in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, select Chapters-Indigo stores in the Toronto and Montreal areas, Calgary, Edmonton, St. Albert, Vancouver, St. John’s, Halifax, and, yes, Moncton. Check the website to confirm availability.
Order Sistering online at Amazon, Chapters-Indigo, Barnes and Noble, or directly from the publisher.
In the US:
Love Letters of the Angels of Death Released Aug 2013
Hunt for it it at fine, independent bookstores such as: Pages Kensington in Calgary, Sunworks in Red Deer, etc. It’s also available in select Chapters-Indigo stores in the Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton areas. Check the store website for availability.
Order paperback or ebooks online from:
And outside Canada at:
And, as always, I will sell copies out of the trunk of my car.