Interview

2017 French-Language Publisher Hits & Misses

At the end of every year, The Guardian newspaper in England asks a range of publishers to pick their hits and misses. This year, we begin a new tradition of our own and ask a handful of French-language publishers to look back at 2017, focusing as ever on Quebec fiction.


1) Which book (from Quebec) did you put out that you’re proudest of this year?

I’m proud of all the books, but if I had to choose one I’d say Moi aussi je voulais l’emporter by Julie Delporte. Coming on the back of #metoo, it’s very timely. And it also coincided with my daughter being born.

2) Which book (from Quebec) from another publisher did you wish you’d published yourself?

Vogue la valise by Siris, published by La Pastèque. Both the book and author are important to the world of comics in Quebec.

3) Which of your books (from Quebec) did best?

The year isn’t over it, but it looks as though Whitehorse — Deuxième partie will be the biggest success in terms of sales. Samuel Cantin fans have been really looking forward to this sequel.

Luc Bossé, Pow Pow Press

1) Which book (from Quebec) did you put out that you’re proudest of this year?

Musiques du diable et autres bruits bénéfiques by Alexandre Fontaine Rousseau and Vincent Giard because the book probably wouldn’t have been published if we hadn’t done it. It’s a very unusual piece of writing, combining quirky music reviews and all kinds of digressions with drawings of album covers.

2) Which book (from Quebec) from another publisher did you wish you’d published yourself?

J’aime Hydro by Christine Beaulieu (Atelier 10, collection Pièces) because we like publishing plays and this play, as well as being important and interesting, is beautifully illustrated by Mathilde Corbeil.

3) Which of your books (from Quebec) did best?

Chenous, a poetry collection from Véronique Grenier that explores depression, being a parent, and our relationship with where we live.

Maxime Raymond, Ta Mère

1) Which book (from Quebec) did you put out that you’re proudest of this year?

La Construction du droit des Autochtones par la Cour suprême du Canada. Behind a rather dry title lies the clearest description I’ve ever read of the ties that bind Canadians to the country’s aboriginal population, of their obligations and responsibilities. It’s popular legal writing at its best.

2) Which book (from Quebec) from another publisher did you wish you’d published yourself?

Well, I would have liked to have published the works of Serge Bouchard, including his most recent book, Le Peuple rieur, from Lux. He’s one of our greatest thinkers, a man who knows how to shake up our dusty memories.

3) Which of your books (from Quebec) did best?

Le Coeur des Laurentides by Michel Allard. It’s a beautiful book in colour for a region that has entered into Quebec folklore through Les Belles histoires des pays d’en haut, a part of the world that’s no secret to the Montrealers who flock to it.

Gilles Herman, Les éditions du Septentrion