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Out of Mind

Out of Mind

196 pages
Published:   September 14, 2021
Fiction  /  Novels
Paperback:   9781773102160   $22.95

"Bergen's power as a writer pulls like an undertow... An uncanny, discerning, merciful algebra on what love takes, and where it leaves us." — Paige Cooper

In Out of Mind, David Bergen delves into the psyche of Lucille Black, mother, grandmother, lover, psychiatrist, and analyst of self, who first appeared in Bergen’s bestselling novel The Matter with Morris. Although adept at probing the lives of others, Lucille has become untethered, caught between duty and desire, between the demands of family and her own longing.

Her ex-husband Morris betrays her by publishing a memoir about the aftermath of their son Martin’s death in Afghanistan. She travels to Thailand to attempt to extricate her youngest daughter from the clutches of an apparent cult leader. And she is invited to the south of France to attend the marriage of a man whom she rejected a year earlier. Negotiating with herself about her altered role in the lives of her family and friends, Lucille circles the globe — and herself.

In this brilliant and subtle evocation of vulnerability and loss, Bergen traces one woman’s quest to reform her identity, reminding us that the unexpected is always lying in wait.
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Praised by the Montreal Gazette as "one of Canada’s best writers" and by the Globe and Mail as "inventive and electrifying," David Bergen is the bestselling author of ten novels and two collections of short stories. In book after book, he has harnessed the written word to illuminate the human condition.

Among his most acclaimed works are The Time in Between, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize; The Matter with Morris, winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and a finalist for the Giller Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Age of Hope, a national bestseller and a finalist for Canada Reads; and Here the Dark, a finalist for the Giller Prize.

David Bergen lives in Winnipeg.


On CBC Books' list of 65 Canadian works of fiction to watch for in fall 2021


“David Bergen’s language is so pure and he listens so attentively to his characters that reading his work always stills me, like a meditation. In Out of Mind, Lucille has come to the end of her ways of knowing herself. But what does Lucille want? Bergen asks, and with consummate respect for her autonomy, he follows her on a journey towards the freedom that comes in knowing your own desires.” — Joan Thomas, author of Five Wives

“Always incisive, richly evocative of our human experience, the work of David Bergen illuminates and exhilarates. His is a vital literary voice.” — Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl

“Bergen’s power as a writer pulls like an undertow. Out of Mind is a house of mirrors that reflects back, at every awful and astounding angle, the complete emotional taxonomy of living. This is uncanny, discerning, merciful algebra on what love takes, and where it leaves us.” — Paige Cooper, author of Zolitude

“A beautiful piece of writing — delicate, melancholic, searching. Years after the violent death of her son, the psychiatrist Lucille remains stuck, watching as her ex-husband starts a new family and as her grown daughters drift away. Does Lucille have a place anymore? She travels to Thailand and to France, seeking connections, still yearning. She refuses to fade away; nor will her grief. David Bergen is an exceptional writer, harnessing his prose, its restraint a sign of its great power.” — Tom Rachman, author of The Italian Teacher

“Lucille’s story and character reflect the realities of life, reassuring us that we are not alone in our joy or in our pain. Her strength and her struggle are so quintessentially human that they act as an important reminder that our vulnerability and our perseverance is not for naught.” — The Manitoban

“There might be no enduring salvation for Lucille, but for Bergen’s readers there is something more valuable: a sustained encounter, on every page, with a character who lives as if she were among us. And she is.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“Bergen’s characteristic precision and insight bring Lucille to life in all her complexity and vulnerability.” — Prairie Books Now