In The First Person, an embittered computer programmer working for the police has decided to erase his identity. We do not know why. Leaving his old life behind, the man becomes a private detective in Los Angeles under a new, forged identity. He is hired to find a local gangster's unfaithful wife, but after locating the woman, he falls in love with her. The pair plans to reunite after he returns her and collects his fee, but their plans are short-circuited by her husband, who punishes her cruelly for her betrayals.
Devastated, the detective exacts his revenge. But soon, trapped by his own manipulations, he slowly falls into a mystic quest that redefines his self-image and world view. WINNER OF THE 1980, GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S AWARD FOR FRENCH LANGUAGE FICTION