“This is a bible for the dispossessed, a prophecy so full of hope it's crushing.”Todd Dills, The Chicago Reader
Toronto’s CN Tower has fallen into the lake. The city is crowded with refugees from the US. Michael and Ruth Racco’s dad has, in a rash of road rage, perpetrated the Backhoe Massacre. And, in the middle of it all, little Jimmy Hardcastle has, in the fountain of a suburban mall, walked on water.
As helicopters chop the air over Toronto and a paranoid America slides into fascism, kids from south of the border collide with kids from north of the border and, over lattes, ruminate on new possibilities.
Your Secrets Sleep With Me is a frenetic, ruthlessly hilarious critique of power and politics. Brilliant, absurd, incisive and fun, this caffeinated novel will take you on a doomed search for the place where you end and everything else begins. But you will not be alone. Shhh. Don’t worry. Your secrets sleep with me.
Critical Praise for Your Secrets Sleep With Me
“This tale holds 101 compressed dramas; the resulting tension is as thick and refractive as DC air in August. Though Your Secrets critiques the global spread of America and the sprouting of police states, at its core the book explores the meaning of self, of our relationships with our bodies, the outside world and one another, down to a cellular level. Your Secrets Sleep with Me is a fantastic, fantastical landscape, compacted into book form.”
— Kate Crane, New York Press
Little eleven-year-old Michael Racco tries his best to view his tendency toward an all-pervasive sense of loneliness as a force that drives him headlong into an ever-widening experiential expanse. His view of this feeling as a tendency rather than a response is a deliberate tactic, an attempt to encompass the desolation within a volitional circle: a framework of intention.
‘I want to be lonely,’ he insists to the dormant television. Seeking debate, he remotely activates the device to find himself face to bow with an animated image of a seafaring vessel and the accompanying narration, which states, ‘The sailors of yesteryear used the stars as a guide and regarded them as their best friends.’
It’s at this moment that Michael crystallizes his view of isolation, coining a phrase he will repeat over the course of a number of his life’s phases: ‘My friendships, like the constellations of antiquity, serve as my life’s compass, while my loneliness will always be the wind within my sails.’
‘Michael, my good friend.’ James Hardcastle appears, sipping his saw palmetto–infused latte. ‘Here’s the plan: it involves air. Any guesses? I’m sorry, have we met?’
‘James, Rani. Rani, James.’
James extends his hand. ‘Hardcastle. Pleased ta meetcha. Feel free to call me Jim, Jimmy or Jimbo. And you are Rani… who?
‘Ahhhh! Vishnu! The deity of destruction.’
‘You’re thinking of – ’
‘Of love, as usual. You watch out, Miss Vishnu, this kid is genetically predisposed toward acts of – well, let’s just call his father flamboyant, shall we? Is that a chai latte?’
‘It’s an Americano,’ says Rani.
James smiles. ‘My favourite.’
‘And the plan?’ interrupts Michael.
James winks. ‘It’s easy, baby – I’ve got to get famous.’
‘You are famous.’
James face grows taut. ‘Fame is a boat with a very big leak. The bigger the fame, the bigger the boat; the bigger the boat, the bigger the leak; the bigger the leak, the more you have to work to stay afloat. Anyway, fuck water. The next mission: O2.’
‘Air?’ asks Michael.
‘I’ve walked on earth, fire and water, why not air?’
‘I don’t remember fire.’
‘A hot stove as a toddler, no big deal – you’ve got CEO motherfuckers living on coals. But now let’s talk about air.’
‘You mean flight?’ asks Rani.
James is stopped in his tracks. ‘Well, I guess, yes, yes, it would be flight. Huh, how about that? I’m going to fly. Well, I’ll be. I thought walking on air was gonna get me some press but flight – !’
Michael points at Rani’s head. ‘You have a grey hair.’
‘I have five.’
‘I need height,’ says James, sitting down at the table. ‘I need some serious height.’
‘Height, like two-storey height.’
‘You could jump off the roof of my building,’ says Rani. ‘It’s nice, we’ve got a garden.’
‘Well, like you said, two storeys.’
‘Okay, okay, now we’re talking. And I need a bed-sheet.’
‘For a cape?’ asks Michael.
‘A cape? God dammit Michael, this is serious business; you may very well have to catch me!’