Michael Mirolla

April 2016

Giulio di Orio, an assistant lecturer in Philosophy, brings one of his students, known as Torp to the Vancouver flat he shares with his wife Nicole. Soon their landlord is convinced that Torp is the devil incarnate, and the police have arrested him for the street bombings that have been plaguing the city. A sexually-charged tale bubbling with lust, suspected murder, and the twilight of the flower children—all set against the backdrop of martial law in 1970 Vancouver.

Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael Mirolla is the award-winning author of the novel Berlin (2010 Bressani Prize); The Giulio Metaphysics III; and the poetry collection The House on 14th Avenue (2014 Bressani Prize). He lives in Oakville, Ontario.

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What they say
Publishers Weekly

"With Torp, Michael Mirolla once again demonstrates that he can be considered one of the finest prose writers in this country. This is a love story that reads like a mystery novel set in Vancouver in 1970. A fable, almost a swan song of the flower-power days."
— Antonio D’Alfonso


Publishers Weekly review of Torp:

Love, death, mystery, and curiosity swirl together in this genre-defying novel from Mirolla (The House on 14th Avenue). Newlyweds Giulio and Nicole explore more than their new Vancouver residence when they transplant from Montreal in 1970. Their identities both outside of and within their relationship are challenged first when they are sweetly suckered into renting Harold and Irena Bedner's dank basement apartment, and second when Giulio brings home one of his philosophy students, Torp, an enigmatic and sly-tongued hippie. Once Torp infiltrates Giulio and Nicole's lives, he consumes their minds and bodies as they attempt to understand who he really is. Both fall quickly into lust with what Torp makes them feel, if not with Torp himself, while the Bedners become increasingly convinced that Torp is evil personified. Enhanced by the backdrop of 1970s discord and political violence from the Front de Libération du Quebec (FLQ) in Quebec, a strong sense of unease and manipulation permeate the novel. Mirolla leads readers into questions about what makes someone evil, the nature of right and wrong, and how people can be influenced by others... Mirolla's vivid writing and the psychological intrigue will pull readers through to the last page. (Apr.)


Quill and Quire's review of Torp

"Mirolla has a keen eye for the dynamics of his characters, and we become deeply invested as the narrative pans back and forth between Giulio and Nicole's perspectives. Torp also captures an accurate zeitgeist of Vancouver in 1970, skilfully weaving the novel's fictional elements into the actual historical record ... Mirolla writes with great passion, and his novel will appeal to anyone possessed of a nostalgic interest in this tumultuous period in Canada's history."



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