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Recommendations from Quebec

December 20, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Flag_of_Quebec.svgThis post is more a post-it than a billet. A friend from Quebec sent me a few recommendations about Quebec literature and I decided to store the information in a blog post and share it with you. I haven’t checked if these books are translated into English. I’m not proud to report I’ve never read a book written by an author from Québec or even set in Québec.

Nelly Arcan (www.nellyarcan.com) (1973-2009)

  • Putain
  • Folle
  • Paradis, clef en main

Marie Uguay (1955 – 1981)

  • Poèmes
  • Journal

Michel Tremblay (1942-)

  • Les Belles Sœurs (theatre)
  • Un ange cornu avec des ailes de tôle. (novel)

Pierre Falardeau

Louis Caron (1942-) especially the trilogy Les Fils de la liberté :

  • Le canard de bois
  • La corne de brume
  • Le coup de point.

Gabrielle Roy (1909 – 1983) www.gabrielleroy.mb.ca

  • Bonheur d’Occasion (The Tin Flute)

Anne Hébert. (1916 – 2000)

  • Kamouraska
  • Les Fous de Bassan.

Yves Beauchemin. (1941)

  • Le Matou

English-speaking writers

Margaret Atwood (www.margaretatwood.ca)

I knew about her but I’ve never read anything by her. Recommendations are welcome.

Anne Michaels:

  • Fugitive Pieces.

Have you read any of these writers? If yes, what did you read and how was it?

  1. December 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I highly recommend Michel Tremblay. I read les nouvelles d”edouard and two plays by him and I liked them all. Anything with Edouard in it is quite funny; the plays were tragic though

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    • December 20, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks for this. I’ll look for Les nouvelles d’Edouard. He’s published by Actes Sud, a really good sign.

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      • December 20, 2014 at 8:53 pm

        The plays are: A toi pour toujours, ta Marie Lou and Albertine en Cinq Temps. I liked Albertine more, though Albertine and the rest of the cast in this plays are all recurring characters in his plays & stories. Still,I enjoyed it. Yes! I saw in the recent Salon Actes Sud released several works of his.

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        • December 20, 2014 at 9:23 pm

          Thanks for writing down the titles. I love theatre, as you know.

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  2. December 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you for the list of authors. So many good looking books and so little time to read!

    I really love Margaret Atwood. It seems everyone talks about The Handmaid’s Tale. In my opinion it was a really great book that was deep, meaningful and disturbing in many ways,

    However, while not as dramatic or famous, I actually thought that Surfacing was an even better novel. I think that both are well worth the read.

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    • December 20, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks for the two recommendations regarding Margaret Atwood.
      I’m on a book buying ban (again!) but I think I’ll get one or two of the list.

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  3. December 20, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    I’ve been searching for Nelly Arcan but could not find her at the local libraries here. But thank you for all the other recommendations – I’ll do my best to seek them out!

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    • December 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Nelly Arcan’s books don’t seem easy to find. You’ll have better chance with used books.

      Like

  4. December 21, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Have you read any Dany Laferriere ….he’s originally from Haiti but was based in Montrèal for many years.

    Here Le Facteur emotif by Denis Theriault was a bit of a hit ( in translation) ….they were a bit non plussed in La Librairie De quebec in Paris when i bought it and told them !

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    • December 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      I’ve never heard of Dany Laferriere. I’ll add him to the list and Denis Theriault as well. thanks for the recommendations.
      Sometimes the books that sell well abroad are little suprising for natives. It depends on the translation and of the publicity they get.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. December 21, 2014 at 1:42 am

    I read Fugitive Pieces last year (http://anzlitlovers.com/2013/07/11/fugitive-pieces-by-anne-michaels/) and I’ve read a fair few by Margaret Atwood including two I’ve reviewed on the blog (http://anzlitlovers.com/category/who-to-find-here-anz-in-capitals/atwood-margaret/) but it’s the ones in French that interest me here because I am assuming that they come from a different sensibility, perhaps even a separatist PoV. So I’m going to browse your suggested authors at GoodReads and generate a To-Read list there. (Do you remember when you gave me a reading list for French lit some years ago? I’ve still got it, and am still working through it, focussing on Zola at the moment, but then moving on…)

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    • December 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I’m also interested in reading about Quebec. Some of the authors on that list describe the life of working class families in Quebec and I’m more attracted to these ones.

      I didn’t know you still had that list! I should read more Zola too, the problem is always the same! TIME.

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  6. December 21, 2014 at 6:56 am

    If you’ve not read anything by Attwood, I would recommend either Alias Grce or The Blind Assassin

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    • December 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks, I’ll look at them and see which one appeals to me most.

      I think I’ll amend the post entry after a while and summarize all the suggestions.

      Like

  7. December 21, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for sharing this list with us! As a book blogger advocating diversity, I’m always happy about suggestions for reads from “exotic” (in the sense of less thought of) regions.

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    • December 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      As a French speaking reader, I’m a bit ashamed to confess I’ve never read anything by a Quebec writer. I’m definitely curious, especially about the languages. (I’ve seen Quebec TV series on the French TV with subtitles to allow us to understand everything)

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  8. December 21, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for sharing this list, Emma. Most of these writers are new to me, and the only one I’ve read is Margaret Atwood. My old book group read Alias Grace, and it generated a good discussion – it’s a novel based on a true case, a 19th-century murder, and it delves into the character’s psychology. The Handmaid’s Tale is sitting in my TBR (another possible book group read).

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    • December 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks for the Atwood recommendation, Jacqui. I’ll add it to the list. Alias Grace has been mentioned twice.

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      • December 21, 2014 at 5:15 pm

        I don’t know if you’d like it, it’s hard to tell. I read it eight or nine years ago, and the details are a bit hazy now, but I recall it splitting our group. Oddly enough, I haven’t read anything by Atwood since, but I’d like to try The Handmaid’s Tale (which is on the sci- fi/dystopian side).

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  9. December 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve read quite a few. Didn’t like Kamouzraska, loved Fugitive Pieces. As for Atwood – I’m interested in everything she wrote and want to systematically read more. It’s actually a reading plan fr next year, Not sure she’s your thing. There are quite a lot of dystopian/fairy tale elements. I loved Surfacing though and Cat’s Eye. Alias Grace is one I was never tempted to read. I like the premises of her older novels – with the exception of the last trilogy best.
    Danielle reviewed Gabrielle Roy and she sounded very good.

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    • December 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Thanks for mentioning the dystopian/fairy tale elements. Dystopian doesn’t bother me but you know I don’t cae much about fairy tale elements. I’ll have a thorough look at which Atwood I pick.
      Why are you not tempted by Alias Grace?

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      • December 22, 2014 at 10:49 am

        It’s a historical novel and if an author also wrote contemporary books, I’ll always prefer that.

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        • December 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm

          OK, it makes sense. Thanks

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  10. Alvin
    December 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I can strongly recommend Margaret Atwood’s short story, “Stone Mattress,” about a woman’s decades-later, chance re-encounter with her rapist, which was published in the New Yorker, December 19, 2011. I believe it’s also available as the “title” story of a collection of her short stories.

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    • December 21, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Alvin,
      Thanks for your comment and your recommendation. Starting with a short story collection may be a good idea. As a woman I’m a bit wary about stories dealing with rape but I should be alright if the story’s short.

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