Damselfish, Ouriou, Susan, XYZ Publishing, Montreal, Quebec, 2003, 192p

Short-listed for the Writers Guild of Alberta Georges Bugnet Fiction Award

Short-listed for the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Award


Canadian Book Review Annual:
The narrator of Susan Ouriou's exceptional debut novel is Hope, a Montreal native who arrives in Mexico City with an artist's grant. While she occasionally visits the studio, Hope is driven by a need to understand and possibly find her Mexican father, Pedro, who mysteriously abandoned the family years ago.

    When Hope's sister Faith shows up unannounced, some of the past that Hope has suppressed comes rushing back. A side obsession to kill giant cockroaches leads Hope behind some cracked tiles in the bathroom. There she locates her sister's journal, which she reads and revisits regularly, thereby exposing herself to new perspectives and some very personal secrets.

     Damselfish is a novel about the power of words: Hope finds comfort in confession and telling her story; Faith maintains order in a chaotic world through her journal; and their mother, Ramona, dives into a sorrow so deep that she loses her speech. In this passionate and emotionally raw novel, these three women safeguard secrets, seek meaning, and uncover the unexpected. Britta Santowski 

© Susan Ouriou 2012 All Rights Reserved                                                      ouriou@telus.net