Arleen Paré

Leaving Now

Paper Trail

Lake of Two Mountains

He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car

Reviews/Awards

Sketches

Blog

Links

Paper Trail

Frances, a manager for a large corporation, appears to be very successful. But Frances finds her peace of mind unravelling as she becomes overwhelmed by the destructive bureaucratic nature of the work world she lives in. Frances starts to lose small body parts, hears mysterious Leider music booming throughout her workplace at random times during the day, and obsesses over the caymans that guard her office building. Meanwhile, her alter-ego has regular
conversations with the ghost of Kafka, who is writing the manuscript in which Frances appears. Written halfway between poetry and
prose, Paper Trail questions the rat race work ethic many of us adhere to, more often out of necessity than choice. Through the thoughts and deeds of Frances and her alter-ego, author Arleen Paré demonstrates the stress and loneliness of modern society, and the profound impact this can have on a person’s sanity.

Author reading excerpt

From inside the book:

Frances grumbled out of nightmares early Monday morning, rolled over and found a finger by her ear. She forced her head off the pillow and watched as the small digit slid into the cotton dip where her head had been. She reached up, careful not to disturb the pillow and switched on the reading light over the bed. Pink as a piglet, it lay curved with a wrinkled knuckle and a maroon-polished scallop of nail at the tip. It rested on the white pillowcase, clean and bloodless, as though galleried. She pulled her hands to eye level and wiggled her fingers. The baby finger was missing from her left hand. Good Lord, she thought, I have that meeting with Finance today, I don’t have time to deal with this. She flicked off the reading light and sank back down as her clock radio blared its 6 AM invasion.