The Last Bullet Is For You
Martine Delvaux. Translator David Homel
This title is now out of print.
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept is the title of Canadian writer Elizabeth Smart’s classic hymn to love, which novelist Angela Carter once described as being “like Madame Bovary blasted by lightning.” Later, Carter wrote privately to a friend, saying that she would hate any daughter of hers to have to write such a novel, adding, “By Grand Central Station I Tore Off his Balls would be more like it, I should hope.”
And now along comes Montreal novelist Martine Delvaux with The Last Bullet Is for You. This stream-of-consciousness novel takes the form a love letter, but it is the last one. One last letter filled as much with the memory of love as the desire for revenge. Love is war, wrote Ovid, and this book is a battleground. Writing is both an act of passion and the means to end it once and for all. Writing is the last bullet, shooting through the love story and into what is left of the lover: a ghost, a fiction. And maybe that’s what he was from the start.
Martine Delvaux was born in Québec City and brought up in a francophone village in Ontario. Her most recent books in French are an essay on photographer Nan Goldin and another on Serial Girls from Barbie to Pussy Riot (forthcoming in translation from Between the Lines). Delvaux studied in the United States and England and now lives in Montreal, where she teaches women’s studies at Université du Québec à Montréal. White Out (translated by Katia Grubisic) was published by LLP in 2018.
David Homel is an award-winning novelist and translator. He has won the Governor General's Award twice for translation. He has also worked as a filmmaker, journalist, and teacher. His most recent book is his memoir, Lunging Into the Underbrush: A Life Lived Backward (LLP, 2021). He lives in Montreal.