The Desperates by Greg Kearney
first published 2013, paperback
Edmund was dying, but now he isn’t. Granted a reprieve from the HIV that took everyone he loved away from him, Edmund decides—after a period of holing up in his Rosedale home—to jump-start his new lease on life by diving hard into the sex and drugs of the party scene.
Teresa is dying, and she’s livid. Determined not to let her illness slow her down, she uses the year she has remaining to avenge past grievances and correct certain “mistakes” she feels she made—both in connection to her estranged son.
Joel isn’t dying, and probably won’t be for a while. Coddled to a state of perpetual naivety by his mother, he moves to the big city of Toronto with dreams of becoming an artist and finding true love. What he finds is somewhat less than he bargained for—though he won’t admit it.
In telling the intersecting stories of Edmund, Teresa, and Joel—all of whom leave trails of hopeful chaos in their wake—ReLit Award-winning author Greg Kearney has painted a blackly comic, yet surprisingly earnest, portrait of modern loneliness. The Desperates is one of the rare novels that leaves you laughing even as it breaks your heart.