“A body problem?” I ask.
“Yes. The IS were disposing of their bodies, the Kartouf boys, by weighing them down with ropes and rocks and pitching them into the harbour. The ropes only last a certain time, and then the bodies bloat up and float to the surface. A lot of them, I gather, are taken out to sea by the tides. But fairly often they washed up on shore. Their hands and feet would be bound and there’d be burn marks and welts all over the bodies.”
Ottawa Book Award 1999. Finalist Trillium Book Award 1999. Finalist Torgi Talking Books Award 1999
“Cumyn’s powerful third novel grips us with techniques as old as Shakespeare, sharp as Waugh, contemporary as Egoyan…. Man of Bone is technically accomplished, a powerful, moving meditation on brutality, eroticism, love, pain, god, and humanity.” Quill & Quire
“Man of Bone reads like an unusual, haunting thriller. Despite its brutal descriptions of physical torture and its insight into a mind confronting death, this is a novel full of life…. The novel’s pacing, right down to its heart-wrenching conclusion, is taut, thrilling. Stripped to its human core, this is prose meant to survive.” Event
“All right,” I say. “I’ll write her a note. You just tell me what to say to make everything better. Some little graceful card. So she’ll read it and know I was fucking tortured within an inch of my life and that inch is all I’ve got left and it’s not much to work with. I’ve done a bloody good job.”
“That would make a handsome card,” she says.
“Yes,” I say. “Handsome. It would fix everything, wouldn’t it?”
Ottawa Book Award 2001. Finalist Giller Prize 2000. Globe and Mail Notable Book 2000
“Burridge Unbound is a story about the fragility of life, life pushed to the edge. It is a brilliant depiction of a man at a precarious crossroads. The novel is breathtaking, almost impossible to put down. Alan Cumyn is a writer of remarkable talent.” Alistair MacLeod