A howl into the void, a ghost story, and a bit of a metaphysical hellride
A misanthropic ghostwriter roams an island off the Kenyan coast. An Arizona teenager awaits the next stage in a secretive covenant. A renowned poet retraces her past amid a baffling netherworld. An international arms dealer’s son drifts through time, atoning for the death of the man he loved.
For readers who take their contemporary fiction with a tinge of the otherworldly, Bleeding Light is about mystical experiences, the symbolic fabric connecting us all, and desperate people seeking affirmation—through religious, cosmic, chemical and other means—of a world beyond their own. It’s a grimly funny and often trippy take on transcendence in a hypercommodified age.
Rob Benvie is the author of Bleeding Light, Maintenance and Safety of War. His work has appeared with McSweeney’s, Dazed, Vice, Joyland, The Puritan, CNQ, The Best Canadian Essays anthology series, and been produced widely for film, music, and television. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, he now lives in Toronto.
“Bleeding Light brings us to the edge of where experience mingles with the transcendent, divine intonations take mysterious forms, vapors condense into light…. There is a chasm here that Benvie is exploring—“How to reconcile substance with the insurmountable,” as the novel puts it… This question is at the crux of this novel—the common ground all of the narrative sequences share. How do we reconcile the transcendent with the mundane? The answer to that lofty question appears to be what some of these characters are willing to kill for.”—Terence DeToy, Tuerlemot
“A darkly gleaming marvel. Searing, creepy and mystical—as if Don DeLillo had set out to steal Paulo Coelho’s flock.”—Sean Michaels, Scotiabank Giller Prize winner and author of The Wagers
“Bizarre, terrifying, and wise, Bleeding Light nearly gave me a metaphysical crisis like the crises befalling its disorienting brew of madmen, poets, and visionaries. This swirling and masterful novel is sharp, deliriously patterned, painfully dark and darkly funny: lined with prose that demands to be read and reread, Bleeding Light is everything I hope for in a novel.”—Liz Harmer, author of The Amateurs and Strange Loops