Jambes fatiguées J'avance, j'avance, j'avance Pas lents, pas accélérés J'ai vieilli depuis Nue Tu m'offres l'horizon Ébahie, je vois Loin Joséphine Bacon, nomade de la toundra, nous fait parcourir, à la lumière du poème, des territoires inconnus. Gaston Miron, Saint-Denys Garneau et Paul Chamberland ont nommé Terre Québec ; Joséphine Bacon élargit le pays en nous initiant à la toundra et aux douces chansons de l'infini. L'horizon est offert avec tant de grâce et de naturel que nous lui sommes à jamais redevables de nous rappeler à l'essentiel : beauté, simplicité et volupté.
There is nothing peaceful about Samia Shariff's account. Life has not been easy for this Algerian woman, who was born in France. The third child in a Muslim family whose father is a prosperous and respected businessman, Samia was not welcome in a clan where the birth of a daughter was considered a punishment from Allah!
A powerful, at times almost unbearable narrative, Veil of Fear draws us into a world of men who justify most of their actions towards women by means of an abusive interpretation of the Koran and its teaching. Thus, from the time of her birth, Samia lives in fear. In fear of her mother, of her father, of the husband she was forced to marry at the age of 16, of the fundamentalists who constantly threaten her, of the obstetricians who want to put her to sleep, of what might happen to her children, of fleeing towards the unknown, of choosing freedom over assured wealth and, above all, of making her daughters live through the same torments she has experienced. Humiliated, beaten, raped, harassed, she had the intelligence and courage to break out of the infernal circle in which a woman depends on the totalitarian power of a man, from generation to generation. Thus, in November 2001, using false passports for herself and her five children, she crossed the Atlantic Ocean and took refuge in Canada, where she was finally able to start a real life as a mother and woman.
In a style that is both simple and effective, Samia recounts her life, her trials and, above all, her victories. For several decades she was the instrument of a completely incredible belief system that granted her no rights whatsoever, not even the right to love or even live in peace. In this respect, she is now the spokeswoman for millions of other women who have stories that are similar and possibly even worse, to tell us. In her own words, Samia says, "I lost everything I had in order to obtain what I never had: peace and love."
Over twenty years ago, Serge Girard knocked on the doors of Éditions JCL like many other authors, his manuscript in hand and heart filled with hope. This man from Jonquière claimed to have been aided by fifty or so spirits, guiding and inspiring him to finish this work of serious reflection.
Could it be?
The dead are silent. Very few have returned on Earth, in the flesh and blood, to tell us exactly what happens in the hereafter. Yet, since the beginning of time, numerous disembodied Spirits have confided in mediums who possess the innate gift to harness such fascinating testimonies.
Serge Girard is one of these mediums, deliberately chosen by the Spirits as an intermediary through which to share their views with all on many aspects of human life on Earth. In addition, these beings from the hereafter have told with great accuracy who they were when they lived on Earth and what happened to them in the afterlife.
The Epiphany, 1916.
On an unforgivingly cold winter's night in Val-Jalbert, Lac-Saint-Jean, a twelve month-old child, wrapped in furs, is discovered by a nun from the convent school. The discovery of this abandoned girl, possibly afflicted by the dreaded chicken pox, deeply upsets the nuns from Notre-Dame-Bon-Conseil who have just taken on their teaching duties. Val-Jalbert, a small factory-town built at the foot of the Ouiatchouan River, is run by the pulp and paper company. The villagers are hard-working and have everything they need. Life in Val Jalbert flows in an orderly fashion, morally irreproachable.
The child of the night increasingly disrupts the nuns and their neighbors, the Marois family, who eventually take her in. But where does Marie-Hermine, with eyes so blue, come from? Why did her parents drop her off like a heavy burden on the steps of the convent school? Over the years, the orphan girl will become affectionately known as ``the Winter Nightingale'' because of her extroardinary voice, and she will become the pride of the factory village which is later abandoned, doomed after the closure of the industry in 1927. Homes are now empty, gardens left unattended, and the nuns leave the barren village. During these unfortunate incidents, Marie-Hermine's past resurfaces and jealousies erupt, such as the love of a young metis named Toshan, encountered during a trip to Lac-Saint-Jean.