AN ELEPHANT TRAINER in Italy, a writer-in-residence for an archaeological dig in Belize, and a theatre reviewer in Key West, Byron Rempel gets around. In his new book Truth is Naked, All Others Pay Cash, he reaches beyond established literary genres into uncharted territory. Whereas many novels are thinly disguised autobiography, Rempel believes it is much more interesting when we fictionalize our own lives. As proof he offers a post-modernist memoir, even though he isn’t sure what post-modernism means, never mind his own life.
Whether searching for the origins of pacifist Mennonites among murderers and polygamists, shovelling elephant droppings, or confronting the slow evaporation of his father’s brain, Rempel addresses the questions that haunt all of us: Where are we going, why, and what will it cost us, not including airport tax? The result is a collection of stories that are quite hilarious, often poignant and occasionally believable.
- A 2006 Globe & Mail Book of the Year pick
- FINALIST Quebec Writers’ Federaton Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction
“Rempel delivers (one hopes) an accurate, detailed, altogether delicious account of (his forefather’s) origins and rather bizarre evolution.” – Globe And Mail
“Byron Rempel could write for stand-up comedy. He’s funny, entertaining, offensive, and best of all, a little weird…Whoever thought that being raised in a religion that forbids drinking and dancing would be such a gas?” – Montreal Review of Books
“The book is funny enough to be a candidate for the Leacock Medal for Humour…The sneaky surprise comes near the end, after a series of whimsical and seemingly unrelated digressions, when Rempel’s tale turns into something moving, emotionally complex and, maybe even beautiful.” – Winnipeg Free Press