The Apocalypse of Morgan Turner

Jennifer Quist

March 2018

Morgan Turner’s grief over her sister’s brutal murder has become a rut, an everyday horror she is caught in along with her estranged parents and chilly older brother. In search of a way out, she delves the depths of a factory abattoir, classic horror cinema -- and the Canadian criminal justice system, as it tries her sister’s killer and former lover, who is arguing that he is Not Criminally Responsible for his actions because of mental illness. Whatever the verdict, Morgan -- with the help of her Chinese immigrant coworkers, a do-gooder, and a lovelorn schizophrenia patient -- uncovers her own way to move on. 
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Jennifer Quist is a writer, critic, and author of two award-winning novels. Love Letters of the Angels of Death (LLP 2013) was long-listed for the Dublin International Literary Award. On its merits, she was named an Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Emerging Artist of the year in 2014. Sistering (LLP 2015) was awarded best novel of 2015 by the Association for Mormon Letters and long-listed for the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award. Quist's non-fiction is published in New Left Review, The Puritan, The Awl, Maclean's, and The Globe and Mail and on CBC Radio. A graduate student at the University of Alberta studying Comparative Literature and Chinese, she lives in Edmonton with her family. [Photo: A. Quist]
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What they say
A story of both great disaster and great revelation
Klay Dyer, Vue Weekly

[Quist's] Her characters avoid cliché, rounding into form through a humanizing depth and richness of emotional palette. Her thesis is clear, yet never overwhelming. And her writing is subtle, avoiding, for the most part, the pedantic heavy-handedness that would cripple a writer of lesser skill. 
Is The Apocalypse of Morgan Turner a light read? No. But neither was the revelatory Dante’s Inferno, which echoes throughout this novel. And it is the sentiment of Dante’s final lines that, in the end, reverberate most deeply in Morgan’s apocalypse: “From whence we came forth, and once more saw the stars.”
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November 2018, Vue Weekly

"Killer to write"
Scott Hayes, St. Albert Gazette

The author dives right into the messy business of mental illness and how it can keep a perpetrator from criminal responsibility. In this Edmonton-based book, the Turners are not what you would call a close family. That dynamic makes things especially tough when they all must deal with tragedy. Morgan’s sister was in a bad relationship before she is violently murdered by her boyfriend. He claims insanity, leading to the quagmire of legal and medical wrangling that must collectively determine where the truth lies. The Turners, in turn, deal with the fallout in their own individual ways. For her part, Morgan relies on her immigrant co-workers, a schizophrenic, and a Mormon Samaritan to help her through this very intense and troubled time of her life. Despite the seriousness of the work, she describes it as a motley crew in a comic kind of whodunit, coupled with all of the psychological and emotional explorations that one would expect from something so horrific.
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April 2018, St Albert Gazette

Sad and brutal, sweet and compelling
Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This

Jennifer Quist shares the glory
Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf

"The originality of this novel about grief, loss, mental illness and justice is that you feel the pain and laugh out loud. There are no glancing characters here. You see inside everyone. Central character, Morgan, is a memorable masterpiece." -- Fred Stenson

Sensitivity and lyricism
Sarah Lolley, Montreal Review of Books


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