Though both parents were alive, Richard and his four brothers lived in an orphanage for five years! It was in 1959, five floors of dormitories at fifty children a floor, with nuns' cells on each floor. Richard recalls that, "as in all concentration-camp systems, daily life is dull and repetitive." Some get up, make their beds, say their prayers, while others line up for the strap. It's just routine. Sometimes for some people it's fun, or at least tolerable. For others, it is unbearable. But this tale does not settle old scores or vent bitterness. It will have you laughing and crying. It is simply the short and moving story of how Richard began the rest of his life.
Professor Paul-André Linteau tells the fascinating story of Montreal from prehistoric times to the twenty-first century, from the Iroquoian community of Hochelaga to the bustling economic metropolis that Montreal has become. He delves into the social, economic, political, and cultural forces and trends that have driven Montreal's development as well as the difficult periods it has lived through. Outlining the diverse ethnic and cultural origins of the city and its strategic geographical position, he shows how a small missionary colony founded in 1642 developed into a leading economic city and cultural center, the thriving cosmopolitan hub of French-speaking North America.
Émile Claudel is no ordinary child. Only months after his birth, following the liberation of France in 1945, he can already chatter away in several languages, much to his mother's frustration. Nicknamed the Little Fox for his appearance, Émile is born into a loveless home, where patience is in short supply. Abandoned by his family, he struggles to find a place in society. This deftly written coming-of-age novel follows Émile on his journey toward adulthood, as his country moves away from austere conservatism and embraces the counterculture of the 1960s.
"An intriguing, masterful novel, [The Little Fox of Mayerville] shines." (Les Libraires)
"A skillful blend of emotion, hijinks, and adventure, all delivered in lively, imaginative language." (Marie-Michèle Giguère, Lettres québécoises)
"The polished prose keeps readers on their toes right to the end." (Mario Cloutier, La Presse
"On the back of an old, yellowed receipt, I drew up a list of the men in the village who might have been my father. Beside each name, I gave them a score from one to ten. Ten points meant they were the man on whom all hopes were pinned, the man who stood the best chance of being my father. One day my mother found the list under my mattress and threw it away."
Rosa Ost grows up in Notre-Dame-du-Cachalot, a tiny village at the end of the world, where two industries are king: paper and Boredom. The only daughter of Terese Ost (a fair-to-middling trade unionist and a first-rate Scrabble player), the fate that befalls Rosa is the focus of this tale of long journeys and longer lives, of impossible deaths, unwavering prophecies, and unsettling dreams as she leaves her village for Montreal on a quest to summon the westerly wind that has proved so vital to the local economy.
From village gossips, tealeaf-reading exotic dancers, and Acadian red herrings to soothsaying winkles and centuries-old curses, Rosa's Very Own Personal Revolution is a delightful, boundary-pushing story about stories and the storytellers who make them - and a reminder that revolutions in Quebec aren't always quiet.
"By turns caustic, fierce and moving, this sinuous novel is chock full of interwoven stories, comical scenes and larger-than-life, hilarious characters. The novelist casts his spell to rework historical events in a magical world, blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality, between centuries past and the year 2000 ... Brilliant and exhilarating." (Suzanne Giguère, Le Devoir)
"Delightful" (Marie-Claude Fortin, La Presse)
"A gem" (Didier Fessou, Le Soleil)
PRAISE FOR Eric Dupont's SONGS FOR THE COLD OF HEART
"spectacular... original in every sense" (Literary Review of Canada)
"masterful... heartbreaking and hilarious" (Publishers Weekly)
"highly recommended" (Library Journal)
"fiercely readable" (Toronto Star)
This book manages to capture the cultural zeitgeist of Quebec culture in the twentieth century. It reminded me of all the great French Canadian novels I read as a child, but pushed them to new, delightful, hilarious, epic levels. [...] I dare you not to read the first three pages and fall in love." (Heather O'Neill, jury member, 2018 Giller Prize)
"As magnificent a work of irony and magic as the boldest works of Gabriel García Márquez, but with a wholly original sensibility that captures the marvellous obsessions of the Québécois zeitgeist of the 20th century. It is, without a doubt, a tour de force. And the translation is as exquisite as a snowflake." (Giller Prize jury)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eric Dupont was born in Amqui, Quebec, in 1970. He left his native Gaspé Peninsula at age 16 for Austria and other faraway locales, returning to Quebec in 2003 to accept a position as a lecturer in translation at the McGill University School of Continuing Studies. His fourth novel, La Fiancée américaine, released in 2012, won the Prix des libraires du Québec and the Prix littéraire des collégiens. Its English translation by Peter McCambridge, Songs for the Cold of Heart, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2018 and subsequently published by HarperVia, outside of Canada, under the title The American Fiancée. One of the hallmarks of Eric's writing is the juxtaposition of the supernatural and real worlds. The lighthearted tone of his work often belies undercurrents of deeper themes and meanings.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Originally from Ireland, Peter McCambridge holds a BA in modern languages from Cambridge University, England, and has lived in Quebec City since 2003. He runs Québec Reads and now QC Fiction. Life in the Court of Matane was the first novel he chose for this collection and the book that made him want to become a literary translator in the first place. His translation of the first chapter won the 2012 John Dryden Translation Prize. His translations have been World Literature Today Notable Translations, longlisted for Canada Reads, and finalists for the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award for Translation.