Book Review: The Angel´s Jig
The Angel´s Jig
By Daniel Poliquin (Author) and Wayne Grady (Translator)
293 pages • ISBN 978-0-864928-67-2
Facing the dwindling years of his life, and old man waits for his turn on the auction block, hoping to be sold to a family as decent as the one he is leaving. It is not the first time he has been here, and it may not be the last.
Mute in life but loquacious on the page, the old man tells the colourful story of his rootless life. Abandoned by his family and first auctioned off at the age of seven –“Ladies and gentlemen, this boy may not be a rare gem, but he is certainly worth a look” – he moves from one farm to another, taking comfort from the people around him.
Daniel Poliquin´s picaresque novel revisits an all-but-forgotten era, when orphaned children and the elderly poor were auctioned into a form of indentured servitude. Narrated through the eyes and ears of an unforgettable protagonist, The Angel´s Jig is a joyous meditation on identity and the unpredictable voyage of existence. The book was shortlisted for a Trillium Award upon its initial publication in French under the title Le vol de l´ange.
Daniel Poliquin is one of the Canada´s leading French writers. His novels and translations have won or been shortlisted for several major awards, including the Governor General´s Award, the Grand Prix du Journal de Montréal, the Prix Littéraire Le Droit, the Trillium Book Award, and the Giller Prize. He is also a Chevalier de l´Ordre des arts et lettres and a Member of the Order of Canada. He lives in Ottawa.