The Tarentula Nebula

Original title: La nébuleuse de la Tarentule

Publication Date:

January 2024



Original language and publisher

French | Editions XYZ

Territories Handled

English (World excl Canada), France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction

The Tarentula Nebula

Original title: La nébuleuse de la Tarentule


“If these events, at first glance, seem to be separate, Quebec novelist Mélissa Verreault manages to link them brilliantly. The author of Les voies de la disparition (2016) creates a veritable constellation of family ties and love. The characters she portrays are overwhelming in their beauty and ugliness.” – Florence Morin-Martel, Le Devoir

“Skillfully recalling an adolescence in the 1990s, the novel wanders between memories and the narrator’s present life, without missing a beat. A tightly knit narrative that focuses on Mélisa, the woman and the artist, the lover and the partner, but very little on the mother, which proves judicious for better grasping what defines a woman beyond motherhood.” – Julie Roy, L’Actualité

“From another author, a cluttered plot could be expected. But Mélissa Verreault, whose
alter ego is the novel’s Mélisa, effortlessly holds together the various pieces of life she
scatters before our eyes […] There are some very strong scenes in La nébuleuse de la
Tarentule, particularly everything that revolves around adolescent friendship.” – Josée Boileau, Le Journal de Montréal

“I can tell you that I loved reading this book.” – Guillaume Dumas, ICI Première

“On the other side of the glass, Franco and the children wait for me on the platform, bundled in their winter coats. I blow them a kiss that’s lost in the powdery gusts. It’s possible to think that, rather than returning, I am about to leave them.”

A novel of great mastery, navigating with a piquant humor in the troubled waters of a deceptive mirror game: fiction disguised as reality.

To understand what is happening in the present, the protagonist is sent spiralling through a flurry of fragments from the past into what becomes a kaleidoscope of sex, religion, money, violence, desire, memory, buried emotion, and disappointment—but what is real, and what isn’t? Aren’t our personalities constructed from grand illusions, deformed truths, and halfspoken lies? No matter what Mélissa Verreault writes, readers always ask if it’s based on her own life. So, why not play the game?