Published November 28, 2007
by House of Anansi Press
Naked under a tattered shower curtain, 15-year-old Tracey Berkowitz has been sitting on a bus for two days, telling her story and looking for her brother, Sonny, who thinks he’s a dog. She confesses her hopes and fantasies, as well as the grief and horror of a hardscrabble life. As time passes, Tracey’s stories begin to twist the truth and entwine it with lies, at once captivating and unsettling the reader. As an unforgettable portrait of a teenager on the verge of imploding, The Tracey Fragments has been compared to The Catcher in the Rye with a style similar to that of Go Ask Alice. Maureen Medved's first novel is a raw, moving account full of twists and turns, fear and uncertainty, trust and betrayal.
REVIEWS: From Publishers Weekly
Another oddly timely book that comes on the heels of recent headlines of teen violence, Canadian author Medved's debut novel provides an eerie glimpse of a raging adolescent psyche. Fifteen-year-old Tracey Berkowitz has been riding on a bus through a blizzard for two days, searching for her younger brother and wearing only a shower curtain. From the back seat she tells her story in a layered narration that shifts from first- to third-person, when Tracey talks about herself as "It," a girl tormented by her classmates and neglected by her parents: "When It went anywhere, It went alone. When It crept against school walls, people held their breath.... Boys pulled at It. Blew their snot on It. Yelled, `It's coming." Tracey's life at her "scary monster house" is no better, her parents alternately catatonically miserable and ruthlessly cruel; they warn Tracy that she'll wind up like her mentally unstable grandmother, who apparently walked the streets in search of abusive men. In her utter isolation Tracey often escapes into a fantasy world where a gorgeous boy, Billy Speed, loves her. The flip side of her psychic dislocation is that she vividly dreams of killing her family, strangers and herself. In fragmented prose mirroring Tracey's splintered identity, Medved gradually reveals her protagonist's devastating reality (that Billy Speed raped her) as well as her sources of hope, her 10-year-old vanished brother, Sonny, who thinks he's a dog, and the distorted memory of her grandmother. Medved skillfully blends Tracey's frenzied facts and fictions into a cohesive portrait of a teenager on the verge of imploding. Tracey's frantic speech, repetitive yet evasive, sometimes appears in capital letters; other times she manages a dry, deadpan voice, like when she's talking about her psychiatrist. Rivulets of hope somehow seep through this taut, harrowing narrative as Tracey examines the steps she's taken, like her grandmother, to search for a world beyond the "monster house." (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
AUTHOR INFORMATION: From Wikipedia Maureen Medved is a Canadian writer and playwright. She is also an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. She has been published in literary journals and magazines, has had her plays produced in Vancouver, Waterloo and Toronto. She has recently completed writing a screenplay based on her first novel The Tracey Fragments, which is being made into a film directed by Bruce McDonald, also called The Tracey Fragments.
Manfred-Salzgerber Prize 2007- Berlin International Film Festival
Nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay
Maureen Medved -2007 Genie Award Best Actress
Ellen Page – 2007 Genie Award Best Director Bruce McDonald – 2007 Genie Award Best Editing Gareth C. Scales – 2007 Genie Award Best Sound Editing Steve Munro – 2007 Genie Award Best Sound Editing David Dranie Taylor – 2007 Genie Award Best Sound Matt Chann – 2007 Genie Award Best Sound Brad Dawe – 2007 Genie Award Best Sound John Hazen – 2007 Genie Award
15-year-old Tracey Berkowitz is naked under a tattered shower curtain at the back of a bus, looking for her little brother Sonny, who thinks he's a dog.
Tracey's journey leads us into the dark underbelly of the city, into the emotional cesspool of her home, through the brutality of her high school, the clinical cat and mouse games with her shrink and her soaring fantasies of Billy Zero - her boyfriend and Rock 'n' Roll saviour. Her travels also put her in contact with the seedier inhabitants of the city. Like Lance, her would-be saviour who ultimately puts her life in jeopardy.
Tracey's stories begin to intertwine truth with lies, and hope with despair as we move closer to the truth of Sonny's disappearance. –Wikipedia