Maisonneuve compares Sina Queyras to Faulkner

Review: Autobiography of Childhood
By Eric Muthrie
Maisonneuve
December 19 2011

Sina Queyras's Autobiography of Childhood dissects a family forever coming to terms with loss. Blending snappy observations on the banal everyday with affecting reflections on relationships, Autobiography traces the lives of the five Combal siblings and their father, from the childhood death of a brother to the impending loss of cancer-stricken sister Therese. The novel moves through six different characters' perspectives, each of whom takes a turn attacking Adel, the family's harsh matriarch. We don't hear Adel's side of the story, but Queyras never turns her into a one-dimensional monster -- instead, Autobiography's troupe comes to quietly accept its own dysfunction. Queyras, who lives in Montreal, fills the novel with wistful odes to Vancouver, but it's far from sentimental; she navigates the heavy subject matter with brisk Faulkner-esque aplomb.

Related Content
Related Contributors: 
Related Titles: