Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 624 pages, 3.15 × 1.97 × 0.51 in
Published: December 21, 2012
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385677626
ISBN - 13: 9780385677622
Read from the Book
Part One – May 1986– There has never been a document of culture which was not at one and the same time a document of barbarism. Walter Benjamin “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” VII Chapter 1 The girl standing in the foyer when Alex went down to get his mail, trembling slightly on her cane, was Esther. Not a girl, really: a woman. Everyone in the building knew her. Or everyone, it seemed, except Alex, who, in the few months since he’d moved here, had never quite managed to be the one to open a door for her, or put her key in her mailbox, or start a conversation with her in the oppressive intimacy of the building’s elevators. She was looking out through the plate glass of the entrance doors to the street, where sunlight now glinted off the morning’s earlier sprinkling of rain. “I wouldn’t go out there if you don’t have to,” Alex said, then regretted at once his admonitory tone. From the confusion that came over her, plain as if a shadow had crossed her, it was clear she hadn’t understood. “The rain,” he said. “Oh!” She looked up through her thickish glasses at the now cloudless sky and her whole face seemed to twist with the strain of trying to follow his meaning. “Chernobyl,” he said, making a botch of it. “The fallout. They say you shouldn’t go out if it’s rained.” “Oh-h-h!” She drew the word out as if in understanding. “R
From the Publisher
Set in Montreal in 1986, The Origin of Species is the
story of a thirty-something Alex Fratarcangeli ("I can''t even
pronounce it myself," he admits to an acquaintance), plagued by a
familiar sense of being a fraud in all aspects of his life from his
professional ambitions to his romantic involvements. Alex is by all
accounts an unexceptional man, save for the fact that he is haunted
by an extraordinary experience in the Galapagos Islands, the
consequences of which threaten to upend the precarious balance of
his ordinary life.
About the Author
NINO RICCI was born in Leamington, Ontario, in 1959. His first
novel, Lives of the Saints (1990), won the Governor
General''s Award for Fiction, the SmithBooks/Books in
Canada First Novel Award, and the F.G. Bressani Prize. The
novel was also a long-time national bestseller, and was followed by
the highly acclaimed In a Glass House (1993) and Where
She Has Gone (1997), which was shortlisted for the prestigious
Giller Prize. He is also the author of Testament (2002).
Ricci holds a B.A. from York University and an M.A. from Concordia
University. He is a past president of PEN Canada.
Praise for The Origin of Species
"Ricci''s masterstroke to date. This novel does so well, on so many
levels, that it''s hard to know where to begin tallying up the
riches. . . . Each sentence, each word, feels exactly right. . . .
He triumphs utterly here in rare achievement."
"Ricci writes beautifully, sentence by sentence."
"The Origin of Species is an achingly honest look at how
our life choices get stacked up to form the picture of who we are
whether we like it or not. Ricci''s dry, sardonic prose is sharp,
with the cadence of natural thought that tumbles forward without
-The Boston Globe