Evidence to the Contrary

Evidence to the Contrary

Drama

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About the book

Arrested for murdering her mother, Lena Fulvi insists it was an accident, although she’s been accused by the nurse who saw her do it, and by her sisters. The inspector questioning her isn’t convinced. As he probes the pain Lena conceals beneath her sophisticated veneer, he embarks on a dark journey with her that changes them both.

About the author

Pedneault, Hélène

Hélène Pedneault was well known in Québec not only as a playwright but as a songwriter and musical collaborator; her shows with Sylvie Tremblay, Michel Robert and Marie-Claire Seguin drew sellout crowds. She was also well respected as an essayist, a journalist for Radio Canada and Radio Québec, and a columnist—especially popular was her landmark column "Chroniques Deliquantes" which appeared in the feminist magazine La Vie en Rose. Pedneault made her theatrical debut with La Deposition (Evidence to the Contrary). Critics hailed it as an immediate success.

About the translator

Gaboriau, Linda

Linda Gaboriau has translated over twenty plays, including Robert Lepage's Vinci, and René-Daniel Dubois' Being at Home with Claude. Evidence to the Contrary received New York readings at the Soho Repertory Theatre and Double Image Theatre.

Excerpt

Her: I admit nothing. I maintain it was an accident. An accident of hate, or a highway accident, it's all the same. It couldn't end any other way between the two of us.

She had been dying for eight days, Inspector. She was emptying the blood out of her body. She was emptying it as fast as they could pump it into her arm. It was absurd. She had been trying to die for the twenty years, to no avail. She wasn't very gifted. And one night, when I was reading at her bedside, I glanced at her distractedly, the way I did every so often. I swear, just a distracted glance, Inspector. And she died. I didn't know I was loaded. Like a gun that you clean, thinking it's empty. I looked at her and she died. My look shot an enormous hole through her heart. There was blood everywhere, and a hole in the wall behind her head too. There were holes everywhere. Blood everywhere. I was devastated, as if I had committed one of those enormous blunders that can't be undone. I didn't know what to do. And that' s when Jeanne Bouchard, your famous witness for the prosecution, came in. I said to her: she's dead, look, she's dead... I didn't want to hurt her.

Him: You are raving...

Her: I didn't think that hatred could have a life of its own like that. Totally autonomous. I thought I was very good at controlling it. Everyone thinks they are. These things happen you know: hatred, loss of control, all those things...

Him: That' s enough. There was no wound, no blood.

Her: Yes, there was. Blood everywhere. I could see nothing else.

Him: There was no wound, there was no blood. Only a tiny needle mark in the crook of your mother's arm. A tiny hole where you injected air, bringing on a fatal embolism. If Nurse Bouchard hadn't happened to come in at that very moment, you would have committed the perfect crime. No one would have seen the smoke, only the fire. After all, your mother was already dying. The same technique used in Dorothy Sayers' book, Unnatural Death, which I found on your bookshelves.


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