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CANADA - Doubleday Canada Publishing Group

The Porpoise
By (author): Mark Haddon
9780385692670 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Literary Jun 18, 2019
$34.00 CAD
Forthcoming 6.51 x 9.52 x 1.1 in 320 pages Doubleday Canada Bond Street Books
From the acclaimed author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time comes this stunningly ambitious, fantastical novel that reworks Shakespeare’s Pericles into a parable for today.

Mark Haddon’s breathtaking novel begins with a harrowing plane crash: Maja, the pregnant wife of the unimaginably wealthy Philippe, is killed, but their daughter, Angelique, survives. Philippe’s obsession with the girl’s safety morphs into something sinister and grotesque. A young man named Darius, visiting Philippe with a business proposition, encounters Angelique and intuits their secret—he decides to rescue her, but the attempt goes awry.

This contemporary story mirrors the ancient Greek legend of Antiochus, whose love for the daughter of his dead wife was discovered by the adventurer Appolinus of Tyre. The tale appeared in many forms through the ages; Shakespeare transformed Appolinus into the swashbuckling Pericles in his play. In The Porpoise, as Angelique grapples with the wreck of her life, trapped on her father’s estate, Darius morphs into Pericles, voyaging through a mythic world. In a bravura feat of storytelling, Haddon recounts his many exploits in thrilling fashion, mining the meaning of the old legends while creating parallels with the monstrous modern world Angelique inhabits. The language is rich and gorgeous; the conjured worlds are perfectly imagined; the plot moves forward at a ferocious pace.

But Haddon’s themes are deeply urgent—the theft of female agency by rapacious men; the uses of archetypal stories to warp history and the present. As profound as it is entertaining, The Porpoise is a major literary achievement by an author whose myriad talents are on full, vivid display.

FOR ALL ITS AMBITION, A GRAND AND ROUSING READ: The inspiration for the novel is ancient Greek myth, and the read has all the narrative power of the great ones.

A PRIZE-LADEN, BESTSELLING AUTHOR: Haddon won the Whitbread Award for Best Novel and the LA Times Book Prize for First Fiction and was a Booker finalist. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is considered a classic and sells commensurately, and his other novels have been bestsellers as well.

LOTS OF FUN ARCANA WOVEN IN: Woven seamlessly (and painlessly) into the novel are many delicious nuggets about Greek myths, medieval literature and of course Shakespeare: Did you know that the co-author of Pericles was a dissolute brothel-keeper named George Wilkins? The dirty parts of the play are believed to have come from his pen.

MARK HADDON is the author of the bestselling novels The Red House, A Spot of Bother and the story collection The Pier Falls. His novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and is the basis for the Tony Award-winning play. He is the author of a collection of poetry, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, has written and illustrated numerous children’s books, and has won awards for both his radio dramas and his television screenplays. He teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and lives in Oxford, England.

Author Residence: Oxford, UK

Marketing: Extra content including book club guide and Q and A with author for our retailers as well as to house on our site

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Author Website:

Author Social Media: Facebook: @MarkHaddonAuthor; Twitter: @mark_haddon; Instagram: @mjphaddon

Praise for The Pier Falls:

“[An] intense and frequently jaw-dropping collection…. Haddon [has] remarkable talent.” —Toronto Star

“Haddon [has] sheer confidence as a storyteller. His voice can convey the authority of ancient fairy tales…. The impressive whole packs the action and themes that might power a very full novel into less than 70 pages.” —The New York Times

“[Mark Haddon] is a virtuoso stylist and a fabricator of many forms…. In The Pier Falls and Other Stories, Haddon pretends with abandon. And then he examines with devastating care.” —Chicago Tribune

“Exquisite…. His prose is limpid, blackly funny and shiny with particularity…. [Haddon] writes with the craft of Julian Barnes or, even, Truman Capote.”—The Times (UK)


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