Whitetail Shooting Gallery
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Fiction. Finalist, ReLit Award. Finalist, McNally Robinson Book of the Year (Manitoba Book Awards). Finalist, Bisexual Book Award (USA). BC Books for BC Schools selection. Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2012 pick, 49th Shelf. WHITETAIL SHOOTING GALLERY, a new novel from award-winning author and Giller Prize nominee Annette Lapointe, is set in the outer urban, often desolate, landscape of the Saskatchewan prairie. Horses, bears, kissing cousins, and other human animals conspire in a series of conflicts that result in accidental gunfire and scarring—both physical and emotional—that take many years to heal.
"a moody, atmospheric portrait of small-town life…the author's talent for descriptive, evocative prose compels the reader forward. She imbues the sparse landscape of Jenn and Jason's prairie surroundings with an eerie, sad beauty."—Foreword Reviews
"Imagine Alissa York's Fauna but in rural Saskatchewan and with all the sentimentality stripped away. Imagine lots of sex, kissing cousins, a gunshot to the face, and a set of teeth that get kicked in over and over again. Imagine a family farmhouse, country roads, the kind of place you might want to move to raise your kids if you don't look too closely. The hockey player, the pastor's daughter, how he's giving blow jobs to his teammates, and she's having sex with her best friend.…WHITETAIL SHOOTING GALLERY baffled me thoughout, disturbed and troubled me, but it also intrigued me, continually surprised me, never stopped me wondering what would happen next. It's an anti-pastoral, a complicated portrayal of rural life. … Annette Lapointe's literary reputation was established with Stolen, which was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2006. And here in her second book, she's turning Can-Lit on its head, challenging not only her readers' sensibilities, but also ideas about what a novel should be. And the latter seems to be a requirement for the kind of book that I like best."—Pickle Me This (blog)
"Wintry, notably offbeat, written with an elegant precision, and at times slyly funny … Lapointe's beautiful treatment of poète maudit subject matter never fails to impress."—The Vancouver Sun
"In WHITETAIL SHOOTING GALLERY, Lapointe gives us an animalistic view of the teen world. This is not small-town rural life as idyllic or pastoral. Lapointe's world reflects the turmoil, raging emotions and hormones brewing inside adolescents. … the plot is almost secondary to Lapointe's vivid, powerful voice and her beautifully savage view of rural prairie life." —Winnipeg Free Press
Their function in the large scheme of things is to be eaten. The whole carrying-humans-around thing is relatively recent, and their horse brains still aren’t wired for it. Jason’s never seen a horse get eaten, but he likes the idea that if a large predator, maybe a cougar, starts eating a living horse, at least the horse won’t feel it. A little neural fail-safe for the moments before death. It’s how he would have designed things, himself. Wild-rose brush was tangled all around the half-dead poplar she’d collided with.
Djinn’s safe. She has a different protector now. It doesn’t really help. When they sent Jenn’s mother home from the hospital to sleep, she found Djinn standing bloody next to the barn. She hadn’t gone to bed first. It’s her farmer instinct, in spite of her law practice, to check on the animals first. So instead of sleeping or eating or bathing, she caught Jenn’s horse and cleaned her up. There were witch-knots in her mane and buckshot in her neck. Not deep, but messy. This faintly psychotic horse-aura permeated the barn.
Almost guaranteed to knock the life right out of her. Shane caught up with her on the walk back. He waited until she got in the car and drove her back to his house, then home when she wouldn’t get out of the car and come in. He had her panties in his pocket. At her place, he sat on the steps with her and drank canned diet coke and didn’t watch her down the first Plan B dose. Quiet for ten minutes, and then he asked, “Would it be so bad? ” She didn’t answer him, so it’s possible that to this day he thinks the answer was no.
Reverse the charges. Hi, I’m stranded in the middle of bad-touch nowhere, and can you come get me, please? He tries to decide which of his parents is more likely to believe he isn’t drunk. Gordon clamps his wrist when Jason goes to move. He says, “Breathe out. ” Jason stares. “Listen to me. Breathe out. ” Squeeze. “I don’t have any designs on you. ” Gordon’s a little guy, but he’s got strong hands. The bones in Jason’s wrist are grinding. “You’re not comfortable. ” “No. ” “Then we’ll leave. You only had to ask.
It was so ingrained, here. At games that his dad couldn’t drive him to, Jason ate deer sausage out of massive tupperware tubs and studied the gun racks in family vans. There were deer everywhere. He stood there, in his grandparents’ kitchen with no grandparents left in it and argued with his dad that hunting was, at worst, a necessary evil. The Bear Hills were named for a top predator, but the bears are gone. The cougars and the wolves are gone. The last large predator in the region was shot in 1973, and the coyotes can barely keep down the mice.