Étienne's Alphabet

ISBN: 9781897151877

Price: $21.00

Format: Trade Paperback

Size: 5.32" x 8.00"

Publication Date: Nov 27, 2010

FIC019000 FICTION / Literary
FIC014000 FICTION / Historical

Shortlisted, 2011 Toronto Book Award
Shortlisted, 2011 Hamilton Literacy Award

“In lesser hands, this fictional memoir might well have diminished into gimmickry, but King brings Étienne’s story to life … Étienne has undoubtedly turned out to be a hero of his own life; that station could not be held by anyone else, except perhaps James King.”
The Globe and Mail

Toronto Life

“A work of quiet genius, much like the man who is its inspiration.”

“Carefully, hopefully, tenderly presented. An opaque character grows translucent; we begin to understand a little of what makes someone very unlike ourselves tick.”
Tangerine Tree Press


To all who knew him, Étienne Morneau lived unremarkably. Raised in an orphanage, his parents unknown, people considered him reserved, unfeeling, and antisocial. His death would have gone unnoticed were it not for his art and writing discovered afterwards. His secret drawings are proof of his artistic genius and his memoir, written in a kaleidoscope of thought and arranged like a dictionary, reveal the depth of his humanity and the uniqueness of his perception.

Étienne’s Alphabet is a celebration of life and of living, with an unforgettable protagonist who sees every moment as a miracle worth committing to canvas.