Lucia's Masks by Wendy MacintyreLucia's Masks by Wendy Macintyre

Lucia's Masks

byWendy Macintyre

Paperback | September 30, 2013

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Lucia? Masks follows the journey of six strangers who meet by chance after fleeing the psychic defilement of a barbaric totalitarian state and travel North to where they can create a free and humane society. The novel interweaves their personal histories with their experience and encounters as they journey together. The principal voice belongs to Lucia; the group? forager, an aspiring sculptress, who once cleaned office buildings for a living. Sickened by the moral decay and the dominant culture? obsession with pornography, she has chosen to seek spiritual renewal and has chosen to remain a virgin. When she leaves the city, she takes with her a ball of clay and a copy of the death mask of John Keats.

Her companions in flight from the city are the Outpacer, a former extreme hedonist and philanderer, who now hides his face and identity behind a monk? cowl; Bird Girl, a young woman constantly searching for books from the past because the libraries have been razed and all reading material is now proscribed; Chandler, a teen who was born and raised in the ?gg? a self-contained domed fortress constructed by his father to insulate them from society; Candace, a former facilitator, whose self-regard and attempts to dominate the group creates continual agitation; and Harry, an 88-year-old survivor of the society that reviles the elderly and does nothing for them.

As the group progresses towards their fragile dream amid their own bickering and frailties, they encounter a theatre box with six masks with uncanny powers that profoundly changes the way they think and behave.

Wendy MacIntyre lives in Ottawa where she works as a freelance writer and editor. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland and has a Ph.D. in English Literature (University of Edinburgh). She has published scholarly essays and short fiction in journals in Canada, the United States, and Britain, including in the University of Windsor Review an...
Title:Lucia's MasksFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.4 × 5.53 × 0.86 inPublished:September 30, 2013Publisher:Thistledown PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1927068444

ISBN - 13:9781927068441


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lucia's Masks This is a truly phenomenal piece of creative writing. I got hooked with the first sentence and just kept going, one brilliant sentence after another, with no let-up, all the way to the end. MacIntyre has written a savagely dark lament about the loss of reverence for beauty and art as our regimented, subservient masses acquiesce in unthinking, voyeuristic excesses that cater to humankind’s crudest instincts. It is a clarion call to re-assert the best that human imagination and passion can achieve. The quality of her writing is a testament to why the struggle is worthwhile. Roy Woodbridge, Ottawa
Date published: 2014-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lucia's Masks Lucia’s Masks by Wendy MacIntyre; Thistledown Press; 356 pages Review by David Mulholland “My deliverance came the day the vandals smashed my potter’s wheel.” Thus begins Wendy MacIntyre’s compelling and beautifully written prescient novel; the likely story of our dystopian future unless we change the path we’re on. The vandalized potter’s wheel belongs to Lucia, a young woman whose art has no value in a world taken over by those intent upon shaping human nature to serve “the economic imperative.” Working at her wheel was all that was keeping Lucia in The City. With it’s destruction, she leaves, taking only a few necessities and her other most cherished possession: the life mask of the nineteenth-century poet John Keats. On her journey north, where she hopes to escape the ever-watchful EYE, she chances to meet five others -- Bird Girl, Chandelier, Harry, Candace, and Outpacer -- who, for their own individual reasons, are also fleeing The City. Despite widely dissimilar personalities, the six travel together for support. Each tells an insightful story of how the depravity inflicted by the new rulers has compromised their humanity. Through scenes lyrical, brutal, and erotic, MacIntyre’s visual and poetic prose draws the reader into an Orwellian world that is quite plausible in light of recent revelations. The EYE reminds us of current news stories about the intrusion into our private lives by American and Canadian spy agencies. The public sky-screens displaying licentious pornography remind us of graphic rock videos that treat sex as a mechanical act devoid of emotion. The EYE’s Citizen’s Guide reminds us of the propaganda governments expect us to accept, and how we are labelled “disloyal” if we dispute their wisdom. The journey is a difficult one, and there are occasions when conflicts threaten to dispel their companionship. But, to quote the eighteenth-century poet Alexander Pope: “Hope springs external.” In the northern bush, Harry stumbles upon a wooden box containing six masks that hearken back to centuries old Greek tragedies. Her fellow travellers want to leave them behind, but Lucia convinces them to carry the masks as they move further north. Then, one morning, while the others have stopped to rest, Outpacer goes on ahead and comes upon an encampment of people living in silk tents. And they have a goat! A farm animal that, except for elderly Harry, the others have seen only in old pictures. He rushes back with the news of this hopeful discovery. But The City has drained the travellers of their empathy and made them distrustful. Can the People of the Silk be trusted? “A goat,” he repeated excitedly. “Do you see the significance? If they keep a goat, they’re probably peaceable.” While camping with the People of the Silk, they discover the surprising power of the masks; a force that harmonizes their diverse personalities. The novel doesn’t have a specified geographic location, which makes the story relative to all highly industrialized countries. MacIntyre’s allegorical, literary work of art -- for that is truly what this novel is -- projects the zeitgeist into the future. Through her characters’ struggles we see how the intentional destruction of compassion undermines morality. But her strong characters dig deep, and we are shown their path to a more human and meaningful life. Those in the business of handing out literary awards -- take note. David Mulholland is the author of two novels of historical fiction, McNab and DUEL. Information on his novels is available at
Date published: 2013-11-29