Winner of the 2018 Guernica Prize for unpublished manuscript.
Jason Lavoie is a young composer at the turn of the 21st century. Half Chinese and half assimilated Franco-Albertan, he and his sister have been deprived by their abusive father of almost any connection to their Chinese heritage. As Jason approaches thirty, he becomes increasingly fixated on his Uncle Larry, who went to China in the ‘70s and never returned, and finds himself driven to write a chamber opera about his uncle, despite knowing next to nothing about what happened to him.
When his life goes sideways, he decides to go to China to find out.
A tragical-comical-historical fantasy coming from Guernica in 2021.
When the Hittites fought the Egyptians, Stan was there. When Priam's pregnant daughter fled the sack of Troy, Stan was there. When Yeshu of Nazareth was crucified, Stan was there - one cross over. He's been a toy maker in a time of plague, a reluctant rebel in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, and an information peddler in the cabarets of post-war Berlin. Stan doesn't die, and doesn't know why. And now he's being investigated for a horrific crime.
As Stan tells his story, from his origins as an Anatolian sheep farmer to his custody in a Toronto police interview room, he brings a wry, anachronistic perspective to 3200 years of Eurasian history. CALL ME STAN is the story of a man endlessly adjusting as the world changes around him. It's a Biblical epic from the bleachers, a gender-bending operatic love quadrangle, and a touching exploration of what it is to outlive everyone you love.
Or almost everyone.