Robert Lalonde
Translated by Jean-Paul Murray

The Heart Is What Dies Last

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In The Heart Is What Dies Last, Robert Lalonde paints a moving portrait of the woman who was his mother, a woman trapped by fate and who, from beyond the grave, nurtures a relationship of tenderness and conflict with her son.

Shuffling through snippets of memories, like flipping through a photo album, the story takes us on a journey to a time long past, revealing a disorderly rapport between mother and son. An ode to the author’s departed mother, the book presents her every facet: at times as a young woman with a movie-star smile; at times as an anxious and stormy mother; at times as an old lady with an unfailing memory. But at every stage of her life, she remains authentic, strong and unpredictable. With nostalgia “for an old happiness in black and white,” with neither varnish nor ornament, the author depicts his mother as woman who never really left him.

“I was right to love you, then right to hate you and run away, right to make a life for myself far from you, and finally right to come back home, even if it’s getting late.”

A strikingly realistic and sensitive portrait, The Heart Is What Dies Last reveals the evanescence of time and the power of memory.

The original French version of this novel, C’est le coeur qui meurt en dernier, has been made into a major motion picture directed by Alexis Durand-Brault, starring Quebec screen legends Denise Filiatreault and her daughter Sophie Laurin, as Robert Lalonde’s mother at various times in her life.

An actor, playwright and translator, Robert Lalonde is one of Quebec’s leading writers. His previous novels published in translation by Ekstasis Editions include The Ogre of Grand Remous, One Beautiful Day to Come, The Last Indian Summer, Seven Lakes Further North and Little Eagle with a White Head.

ISBN 978-1-77171-150-0
115 pages
5.5 x 8.5
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