- Author Bio
Bestselling and award-winning author Todd Babiak returns with an immersive and affecting story about a teenager’s fascination with an enigmatic new woman in town whose past is catching up with her.
Monument, Colorado, July 1989. Fourteen-year-old Adam Lisinski is mesmerized the moment Beatrice Cyr steps into his life. Adam has a lot going for him: he’s hoping to be a starter on his high school football team, he has a fiercely protective mom, a girlfriend, and a part-time job at Eugene’s Gas Stop, where he works with his best friend. But he neglects everything that matters to him after Beatrice, his neighbour’s enigmatic new wife, comes to town. Soon he finds himself alone with her—in the change room at Modern You, a clothing store on Second Street; in the back row of the theatre at Chapel Hill Cinema; in the front seat of her truck. He’s confused about who she is, what she wants, and where she comes from. Adam is desperate, caught between wanting to spend time with Beatrice—whose past is catching up with her—and lying to everyone he cares about. The guilt overwhelms him. And when Beatrice convinces Adam’s mom to quit her job and partner in a risky real estate venture, he has to do something before everything spins further out of control. The plan he comes up with tests his courage and leads him to an unshakable truth about loyalty and love.
By turns riveting and tender-hearted, The Empress of Idaho is a story about the vulnerability and confusion of adolescence at the moment when it slams against adulthood. It’s an unforgettable portrait of a boy’s difficult coming of age.
Story Locale: Monument, Colorado
BESTSELLING AND AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR: Babiak’s novel The Garneau Block was a national bestseller and his most recent novel Come Barbarians was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. He has been a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, the Alberta Book Award for Best Novel, and he has been longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the Georges Bugnet Award and the City of Edmonton Book Prize.
IMPRESSIVE and FAR-REACHING SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE: Twitter @babiak 12,805 followers, and Facebook 2,021 Likes. Todd is extremely well connected and an enthusiastic promoter of his work.
A CONVERSATION-STARTER: Like Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling and Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People this story forces readers to ask themselves tough questions about their notions around consent and sexual abuse. It’s a story that sparks conversation and that you want to discuss immediately after reading.
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Author Website: www.toddbabiak.com
Author Social Media: @babiak
Praise forTodd Babiak and The Garneau Block:
“Babiak’s language isn’t lofty, but dense with keen observation—highlighting the beauty, kindness, cynicism, sense of humour and contradiction found in many Edmontonians, most Canadians and modern life in general.”—Ottawa Citizen