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The Quantum Theory of Love and Madness

The Quantum Theory of Love and Madness

By Jerry Levy

To fill gaping holes in their lives, the protagonists in The Quantum Theory of Love and Madness embark on bizarre quests that ultimately lead them astray. Whether a child savant who sings the lyrics to hundreds of songs (and never talks), a woman who has to decide whether to turn in her arsonist brother, a failed writer whose fictional character suddenly comes to life, an unhappy insurance examiner who discovers a fallen angel and decides to cash in on his find, or a successful, middle-class man who pines for the poet he once was, nothing is sacred in this collection of stories. Myth and imagination hold equal weight, authenticity and fable go hand-in-hand, and the lines between reality and illusion blur. The stories reveal the plight of outsiders to readers in a way that make them feel part of the inner circle. Characters find themselves trapped, or at least, incapable of restoring their humanity. It may be sobering to observe such forays into darkness but underlying their failures is a tacit suggestion that perhaps they could have won out with more imagination, more strength, or simply with some encouragement. And some do; amidst the carnage of those who fail and disappear emerge some who acquire new strength to reconnect with the world.


Guernica Editions (Essential Prose Series)


228 pages |

Regular price $17.95 USD
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From bankers to circus artists, street people, online hook-ups (and more), Jerry Levy's stories probe loneliness and missed connections with vivid imagination, humour and insight. Levy's keen eye for human foibles and strengths make this a fascinating collection.

Carole Giangrande, author of All That Is Solid Melts into Air and The Tender Birds.

Jerry Levy deftly navigates that thin line between the everyday and the extraordinary as he serves up a host of original characters -- a teenage girl thrust into raising her younger brother, a novelist with perhaps too much imagination, a man who breaks when a grape rolls under the fridge, another who teeters on becoming the father he never knew. Like our best short fiction, so many of these stories deliver the perfect twist -- unanticipated and yet, with hindsight, exactly right.

Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of The Painted Gir

Levy's quirky narratives provide a high-spirited alternative perspective on the crushing emotional isolation and myriad pressures that often accompany modern urban life . . . stretching the boundaries of narrative plausibility and occasionally veer into pure fantasy.

The Miramichi Reader

At times, Levy’s work has an almost supernatural quality, as he plays with the borders of reality and plausibility. But it works. His characters, no matter what their obsession or peculiarities, are all-too-human, and their trials, despite often being a bit otherworldly, reveal much about the nature of what is concrete and real.

Ottawa Review of Books


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