Canadian fiction, Canadian authors (Fiction), War stories
Beirut of the 1970s, during the Civil War. Pavlov is the twenty-something son of an undertaker and as such has watched funeral processions pass below his window throughout his childhood. When his father dies, Pavlov is summoned by his former… teacher, Mr. Tarraff, and tasked with providing burials that, for a variety of reasons--because the deceased is homosexual, or an outcast, or abandoned by their family, or an atheist--must happen in secret. The society that arranges such burials is a hidden anti-religious sect called the Beirut Hellfire Society. Pavlov accepts this assignment, and over the course of the novel acts as a survivor-chronicler of his torn and fading community, bearing witness to both its enduring rituals and its inevitable decline. 2018.