Listen to an excerpt.
Growing up on Toronto’s desolate margins in the eighties, sixteen-year-old Mel Sprague has a lot on her mind: The A-bomb. Acid rain. Where her Dad’s been hiding out for the last fifteen years….
Mel’s younger sister, Lora, knows that despite her sister’s ‘talent for misery,’ Mel’s preoccupations aren’t unusual. After all, Mel might stay out all night now and again, but in the Sprague family, teenagers are troubled by definition. When Mel vanishes, however, what were once the diversions of a teenage girl are taken up as evidence, casting questions over her disappearance—and leading investigators to ask if Mel Sprague chose to run away, this time for good. Lora, for her part, just knows that someone has taken her sister and, disquietingly, fears that it wasn’t a stranger.
Being a fifteen-year-old girl isn’t easy—and that’s without experiencing an event that transforms everyone in your life into a suspect or a potential victim. Before her sister vanished, Lora’s world was relatively simple, but Mel’s disappearance creates a new and indelible division, everything changes, and there is nothing that is untouched by her loss.
Delible is Lora’s story. Through her unblinking eyes, we witness one family’s experience of sustained uncertainty and come to see how our identities also exist in those traces we leave behind.
For review copies, contact Insomniac Press.
”… a compelling exploration of the intense, secretive world of teenagers. Stone has constructed a narrative that’s often wrenching. It offers no false comfort or tidy resolutions, but leaves a lasting mark.”
“. . . an outstanding literary accomplishment. Stone’s language is profound and honest; her allusions rich and subtle. Stone’s themes of impermanence and disappearance are integrated seamlessly and hauntingly into every passage of the book’s three hundred pages, on multiple levels, with care and intelligence. If literature is salvation, here’s to hoping that Stone’s work makes the indelible mark on Canadian letters that it deserves to.”
“Stone has chosen absence over presence, intimation over exposition. . . In spiralling down from so many anxiety-inducing possibilities to the single certain unacceptable conclusion, she is keeping faith with her characters and everything we’ve learned about them. Stone writes with delicacy and conviction.”
“Delible … takes us into what human absence means . . . Stone paints a portrait of the girl who was Melissa Sprague, shows us the crumpled remains of Melissa’s life: her loves, her sibling rivalry, her dissatisfaction with life and her rough neighbourhood . . . [and] brings Melissa alive for us.”
“Anne Stone takes us inside disappearance, its shock and suspense, into a family denuded by loss. The landscape is ordinary, familiar, yet it blossoms with suspects and menace. Delible is a dark and brilliant work in which understanding is inseparable from grief.”
—Camille Roy, author of Craquer, Cheap Speech, and Swarm
“Delible is a seductive meditation on the ways young women mythologize, cling to, enrapture, and lose one another. This book is equal parts beauty and perversity, darkness and light. An affecting portrait of girls in the eighties drawn with great acuity.”
—Heather O’Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals
“Anne Stone hits the heart of “missingness” with her third book, Delible.”
“… traverses the magical territory of young girls …”
—Globe & Mail
“… inventive and lushly rendered … a haunting story …”