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By Claudia Dey

“At once hypnotic and dazzling, Stunt is, quite simply, a feat.”
The Globe and Mail

“This surrealist coming-of-age novel – a shot of Catcher in the Rye with a One Hundred Years of Solitude chaser – is the perfect vehicle for Dey’s caustic wit and trenchant observations…It’s as if poet Anne Carson and satirist Mordecai Richler accidentally collided at a drunken PEN fundraiser to produce a mischievous, magical and observant girl-child.”
Toronto Star



“On your bicycle we are flying. In my sock feet and nightgown, I stand up on your handlebars, the prow of a ship heading into the great unknown, and I climb onto your mile-wide shoulders, can see the next continent…You catch the moon, always heavy in your mouth. You tell me it tastes like ice and regret. You tell me it tastes like liftoff.”

Eugenia Ledoux, nine years old, wakes to a note from her father: ‘gone to save the world. sorry. yours, sheb wooly ledoux. asshole.’ Eugenia is left behind with her mother, the sharp-edged B-movie actress Mink, and her sister, the death-obsessed and hauntingly beautiful Immaculata. When Mink climbs into the family car and vanishes, Eugenia doubles in age overnight, but remains the dark and diminutive creature who earned the nickname ‘Stunt’.

Eugenia devotes herself to finding Sheb. She writes to the man she belives to be Sheb’s father: I.I. Finbar Me The Three, a retired tightrope walker. Waiting for Finbar’s response, she retreats to Toronto Island, where she meets Samuel Station, a barefoot voluptuary, world-traveller and and ring maker.

When Finbar does write back, Eugenia wonders if she will find what she is looking for – or something else entirely. Studded with postcards from outer-space, twins, levitation, the explosion of a shoulder pad factory, and some accomplished taxidermy, Stunt is part dirge, part cowboy poetry and part love letter to the wilder corners of Toronto and ourselves.

“Stunt is a sacred carnival: the whiff of roosters wearing boxing gloves, the whimsy of a miniature marching band hidden in a well-loved purse. Dey’s sleight of hand is one mighty literary feat.”
-Michael Winter, author of The Architects are Here

“Claudia Dey’s debut novel is like a snowflake, utterly unique, compellingly intricate, and sparkle-riven, sharp as broken crystal and just as dazzling. Stunt is daring, poignant, full of abandon and abandonment, wistful and funny. Here are big characters, with big lives. Brilliant.”
-Lisa Moore, author of Alligator

“Playwright and Globe and Mail columnist Dey’s debut novel cracks open the intricate interior life of Eugenia Ledoux, the irresistible nine-year-old narrator who is abandoned by her father and sets out to make sense of his abrupt departure. Dey’s prose teeters evocatively and provocatively between the real and the surreal, and the gritty Toronto setting is itself a character.”
-Globe 100 Best Books

“Dey’s sensual, surreal prose imbues an ordinary city with magic.”
Fashion Magazine

“Stunt is mesmerizing, rewarding, and breathtaking. Dey never lets up, never writes simply, plainly, or boringly. Like Eugenia’s nightfall, Dey’s book is ‘all dark majesty and menace,’ and wonderful to read.”
Quill & Quire, starred review

“With Stunt, she has penned one of the most ambitious and original debut novels to come out of this town, or even out of this country, in some time. Read it.”
Post City Magazine

“It’s a bit of a fever dream set in, of all places, Toronto. Somehow, Toronto filtered through the vivid imagination of Claudia Dey, has been transformed, a la Ondaatje, or even Gabriel Garcia Marquez, into a wild, raw, mysterious place filled with idiosyncratic characters.”
Calgary Herald

“Prepare for a monumental suspension of disbelief and a generous acceptance of the surreal and absurd—and prepare to receive a lot in return. ……It walks the tightrope, like Eugenia herself, between fantasy and reality, joyous and melancholic. Dey has created a world that defies definition and, in its deeply weird and totally beautiful storytelling, celebrates flights of imagination.”
Time Out Chicago

“Reading Stunt is like arriving at a buffet where every dish on the table is unusual, made with oddly paired ingredients, but tastes delicious. For days afterwards you can’t stop thinking about it, and plain food lacks a certain thrill.”

“What is really beautiful about Stunt is not the heartbreaking story between a father and daughter, but the way Dey writes about Toronto: magically, romantically and modernly.”
Broken Pencil

“THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE IT: Honest, magical, raw.”


Coach House Books, Canada, April 2008


One of Quill & Quire’s Books of the Year 2008

Globe 100 Best Book, 2008

Other Books by Claudia Dey