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Eternal Hydra

2009 Coach House Books

When a young scholar finds Eternal Hydra, a long-lost, legendary and encyclopedic novel by an obscure Irish writer, she brings the manuscript to an esteemed publisher, hoping to secure an international audience for the book. But Vivian’s obsession with the dead author, who has materialized in her life, is challenged by the work of a contemporary historical novelist, and she’s forced to face confounding questions about authorship, racism, and ethical behavior.

Weaving between modern-day New York, 1930s Paris and New Orleans in the years following the Civil War, Eternal Hydra is a postmodern look at the making of a modernist masterpiece.

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"You won’t find a more intriguing literary detective tale than Eternal Hydra…. a smart, funny, nuanced work, one of the best Canadian plays of the past decade." —Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine
"Eternal Hydra is a brilliant play…. highly intellectual, very funny, and emotionally resonant all at once….the work must be considered part of the canon of great Canadian plays." —Christopher Hoile, Eye Weekly and Stage-door.com
"It isn’t an exaggeration to state that Piatigorsky’s fascinating script is one of the very best new Canadian plays in decades…. Chock-a-block though it may be with intriguing ideas, it’s quite funny at times, and straightforward and swiftly moving." —Steve Fisher, Torontoist.com