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Beloved and acclaimed Quebec novelist Gaéten Soucy dead at 54

Quebec media is reporting that novelist Gaétan Soucy died on Tuesday of a heart attack. He was 54.

Soucy is the author of four novels known for their inventive wordplay, fractured narratives, and Gothic themes. His third book caused a sensation when it appeared in Quebec in 1998. The novel, supposedly written in three weeks, later appeared in an English translation by Sheila Fischman as The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches (House of Anansi Press). Soucy’s first novel, published in English as The Immaculate Conception, was nominated for the 2006 Giller Prize.

A story in La Presse suggests that Soucy had been working on new material, even though it has been more than a decade since his most recent novel appeared in Quebec. In an interview with the Montreal daily, novelist Danny Laferrière described Soucy as one of Quebec’s great literary stylists.