Cover image for 100 Days in Uranium City
Title:
100 Days in Uranium City
ISBN:
9781772620269

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Nechako Branch1Received on 5/3/19

Summary

Summary

Inspired by the stories her father told her, Dénommé sketches a portrait of a Northern mining town in the late 1970s. Shifts in the uranium mine last 100 days, then workers have two weeks to adjust to civilization before returning. The pay is good, the work is grueling but they can all be found drinking heavily on a Saturday night. Life is hollow, one shift at a time, waiting for the depletion of resources -- natural or human. The book never loses focus of the main character as he struggles with his lifestyle choice. It is a quiet but powerful read, rendered in gorgeous pencil, like the dust of the mine revealing lives on the page. Nominated for the Bédélys Québec Prize 2017


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

This melancholic portrait of novice miner Daniel's long winter days surrounded by a cast of alcoholics and womanizers is inspired by stories DAcnommAc's father told her about his life in the 1970s. In a remote Canadian uranium-mining camp, the 100-day shifts seem to last an eternity. At the start of his lengthy shift, depressed, chain-smoking old-timer Jean-Paul advises Daniel that he'll soon forget about the young girlfriend he pines for back home: "After a couple weeks, your mind starts to settle. Then you get back home and see her again, and you hardly recognize her." The monotonous work and isolation mutes Daniel's days-crushing boredom and masculine silences are interrupted only by industrial accidents and booze-filled benders. But when his girlfriend calls to inform him she is pregnant, he faces a choice: return to the woman he loves and uncertain hope for a better future, or resign himself to a lifetime of steady paychecks and a soul-crushing schedule. In soft and sometimes sloppy pencil, DAcnommAc tells a quiet, tender tale of men who deaden the heartbreak of separation with equal parts vodka, repression, and sexual fantasy. In this cool-toned portrait, the most powerful panels are the wordless ones, where snow swirls, Daniel stares at the frozen landscape, and no one knows what to say. The muted snapshot of blue-collar Canadian life never quite gathers enough story to rise to universal appeal, but may inspire readers to dig through old photo albums in search of their own family histories. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.