In Translation

Hiroshimoi

Hiroshimoi

“She falls asleep with you, at night. Sees your morning waffle. Smells your fresh-out-of-the-shower scent and knows how water beads on your skin just before you wrap yourself up in a towel.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Marie-Claude Plourde
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En rampant

En rampant

While David Clerson’s first novel, Brothers, was sweeping, allegorical, and pull-no-punches dark, En rampant is anchored in the real, paranoid, present, albeit with a significant dash of magical realism

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Katia Grubisic
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Ici la chair est partout

Ici la chair est partout

“She stays silent for the time it takes to determine that there are two dots, and then to find the words to defuse the bomb she’s about to drop. I pretend to listen but I’m already gone.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Emily Wilson
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Tis the Season to Be Jolly

Tis the Season to Be Jolly

“Tis the season when taking stock makes you feel stuck in a corner, like you’ve had your bell rung. Tis the season when taking stock makes you smile like you’re in a toothpaste ad…”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Marie-Claude Plourde
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You Are Happy

You Are Happy

“There’s no one here to stop me from doing what I’m about to do
No girl who said ‘I love you’ this morning”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Leanna Brodie
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Baloney

Baloney

“He dreamed of monsters coming over the horizon, straddling mountaintops the way you pull yourself out of a pool, arms first, then a leg. Perched there like vultures, they looked out in his direction.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Pablo Strauss
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Hungary-Hollywood Express

Hungary-Hollywood Express

“I saw Trinity Church. I saw the Woolworth Building. I saw St. Paul’s Chapel. I walked along Broadway. I saw the Stock Exchange. I saw City Hall. I saw thousands of stores open all night. I crossed twenty red lights and fourteen green lights.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Dimitri Nasrallah
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Quelque chose en moi choisit le coup de poing

Quelque chose en moi choisit le coup de poing

Quelque chose en moi choisit le coup de poing is an essay on the expression of the self followed by a series of very short plays. Here are two of them.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Benjamin Hedley
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Victoria on the Horizon

Victoria on the Horizon

A beautiful short story by Catherine Leroux from the collection Madame Victoria.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Anna Matthews
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Le Discours sur la tombe de l’idiot

Le Discours sur la tombe de l’idiot

“His idiot eyes saw nothing. He was looking at him, the mayor seated on the bench, but without really seeing him. His mouth remained half-open, sluggish, as if the lower lip were too heavy. As if someone had emptied out his brain through the nostrils, with a straw.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Jacob Siefring
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Life in the Court of Matane

Life in the Court of Matane

“It was there, just at the bottom of the eighth beer, that we would start to lose him. He would begin to lift up off the ground, rising ever higher, ever further, until we needed a telescope to watch him ascend into the sky.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Pugnacious and Flamboyant

Pugnacious and Flamboyant

In Faire l’amour, Anne-Marie Olivier talks frankly and funnily about sex, with each of the play’s scenes based on a true story.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Marie-Claude Plourde
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Paris in the Rain, from Arvida

Paris in the Rain, from Arvida

A short story from Arvida, finalist for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Donald Winkler
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The Muscles of Mermaids

The Muscles of Mermaids

“They say that when you look out to sea, you feel just as tiny as you do beneath the dark sky of night. That you disappear into the vastness of it all. That’s really all we’re hoping for today. To vanish into the dense, liquid air of a white shoreline. Marie is dead.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Pour réussir un poulet

Pour réussir un poulet

Fabien Cloutier won a first Governor General’s Literary Award in 2015 with Pour réussir un poulet, a raw and cruel portrait of the exploitation of human misery.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Marie-Claude Plourde
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Betsi Larousse

Betsi Larousse

Filled with dramatic flair and brilliantly told, Betsi Larousse is a story drawn in shades of madness and humour.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Jean-Paul Murray
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Sneak Peek: The Goddess of Fireflies

Sneak Peek: The Goddess of Fireflies

An excerpt from The Goddess of Fireflies before it is published later this month.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Neil Smith
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Seven Lakes Further North

Seven Lakes Further North

A postcolonial novel of consensus, Seven Lakes Further North reconciles clashing polarities, while painting the Canadian landscape in dreamlike detail.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Jean-Paul Murray
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C’est pas moi, je le jure!

C’est pas moi, je le jure!

“I’d already felt trouble brewing in my heart, rebels lurking in the tall grass, guilt and other wild beasts waiting to leap from their lair and rip apart what was left of my innocence.” Neil Smith translates the first chapter of C’est pas moi, je le jure!

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Neil Smith
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Nord Alice

Nord Alice

“Alice managed to awaken the violence in me. Not in the practical sense of the word. But in the sense of real violence. The kind that presides over birth. Human. The kind that lies dormant.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Kathryn Gabinet-Kroo
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Le chasseur inconnu

Le chasseur inconnu

“My children, let us all go home. There is no point in us slandering any further. Let’s see how things look in the morning.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by David Warriner
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Petit chien pas de pattes

Petit chien pas de pattes

“You know what you should do, Pancho? I’ll tell you my story and you turn it into a book. It’ll be an international best seller!”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review and translation by Karin Montin
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Le vol de la coupe Stanley

Le vol de la coupe Stanley

Michel Laprise makes history come alive, lifting statistics and players from the 1961-1962 National Hockey League season off the page and bringing them to life, blending fact and fiction to describe the theft of Lord Stanley’s Cup.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review and translation by Peter McCambridge
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Zazie

Zazie

From divorce and bullying to after-school jobs and first crushes, Zazie recounts her misadventures with wit and charm. This excerpt, the “meet cute” between Zazie and the Boy, will have you both cringing and chuckling along with its narrator.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Arielle Aaronson
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Nous étions le sel de la mer

Nous étions le sel de la mer

Cyrille said that all truth is ever-flowing and elusive. Those who go to sea know that anything atop the waves is forever breaking up and reforming. Differently. He said that the wind, the current, and the ocean swell are insatiable; that you could never be too careful, even on a glassy sea.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by David Warriner
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Repentir(s)

Repentir(s)

Outside a crowd was already gathering behind the orange tape the cops had set up to the background of a dozen or so patrol cars, lights flashing. A whole other kind of beauty, he thought as he watched the police.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by David Warriner
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Le cadavre de Kowalski

Le cadavre de Kowalski

“You are well and truly dead,” she confirms. “But keep going. Tell me what happened underground, Mr. Kowalksi.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review and translation by Peter McCambridge
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Sports et divertissements

Sports et divertissements

“You’re unhappy,” she says.
“I dunno.”
“You’re unhappy then.”
“No,” I sigh. “I feel a little empty, that’s all.”
“But you are empty. A Class A superficial bitch who destroys everything in her path.”
“True.”
“Feel any better?”
“No.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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I Hate Hockey

I Hate Hockey

“I hate hockey!” is the first and last sentence in this novel that offers a new take on Canada’s love-hate relationship with hockey. Narrator Antoine Vachon blames the game for killing his marriage with his beautiful ex-wife (well, that and the power outage that brought her home unexpectedly to find him in bed with her intern). But hockey is a pretext for unlikely adventure in this sardonic roman noir that at times flirts with the outrageous.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Read the excerpt
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ZORA, un conte cruel

ZORA, un conte cruel

“On the docks Tuomas had appointments with merchants from far-off lands. He bought jaborandi leaves from Brazilian dealers. Zora had heard him lose his temper in Chinese with a merchant from the court of the Qing dynasty who had been asking an exorbitant price for three swallows’ nests. She had seen him kiss on both cheeks a hirsute Iberian who had come to sell him bismuth. On the wharfs, in the grimy little cafés where Tuomas conducted his business, Russians, Swedes, Asians, and lanky Saxons with greasy moustaches drank alcohol, played dice, hurled abuse at each other, and stared at Zora with wide animal eyes.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Wildwood

Wildwood

“I was sixteen years old, and the world was in revolution. In Vietnam, the Americans were sacrificing an entire generation of young men to a war that was lost before it started. In France, the month of May would go down in history. In Quebec, Catholicism was losing its grip and new idols—drugs, separatism, and Charlebois songs —were taking its place in people’s hearts.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by David Warriner
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Le rôle des cochons

Le rôle des cochons

“The verdict is in!” Moranget declares as he sits down among us that same evening by the fire. “The ringleader will be hanged tomorrow for desertion. Right there on that tree. You’ll all be here to see it—a reminder of the fate that awaits traitors working against His Majesty’s will. The second deserter has wholeheartedly repented and our leaders have chosen to be lenient. Nonetheless, he will have to sign an agreement to serve the King, right here in this very land, for ten years.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Terreur dans le Downtown Eastside

Terreur dans le Downtown Eastside

“Which makes that neighbourhood a prime hunting ground for anyone who gets a kick out of roughing up sex workers. They’ve got free rein down there. The last twenty-five years have shown me that. All those prostitutes, drug addicts, and transsexuals on the street down there have no protection whatsoever.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by David Warriner
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Les peaux cassées

Les peaux cassées

“On the way home, at the corner of 1st Avenue and 18th Street, I would invariably cross paths with the Scarecrow. Rain or shine, there he stood, arms outstretched, a Christ-like figure at the crossroads, taking blows to the face from passersby. Every day I found him in more of a mess than the night before. As living conditions worsened, pressure rose in the city and the Scarecrow was its barometer.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Peut-être jamais

Peut-être jamais

“The first night happened at Sébastien’s place. Christophe was away, staying with friends in northern France. The bottles of wine had racked up fast, as had the cigarettes. We were like three shipwrecks on the couch, but our hands were already wandering like earthworms searching for a crack in the ground after the rain.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by David Warriner
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Le vertige des insectes

Le vertige des insectes

“Mathilde felt her chest tighten. Maybe her heart was breaking. The days passed by unnoticed. A gloom woke her in the morning and enveloped her at night. Sadness caught up with her in each corner of the apartment.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Arielle Aaronson
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Hollywood

Hollywood

“I told her again that there is only one tragic drama in America: our emotions. The true victims of a great calamity are our feelings and perhaps those of the people closest to us. Nothing more.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Kathryn Gabinet-Kroo
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Je suis là

Je suis là

Christine Eddie’s third novel is “a true story, but not quite the truth.” Eddie has romanticized the story of a family friend, a real-life Angèle struck down by real-life tragedy. She is there to tell us her story. Because Angèle cannot.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation and review by Peter McCambridge
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La Première minute de Mathieu

La Première minute de Mathieu

“Some sunny mornings, I open my bedroom curtains and it feels like the sky is black, the sun is black. Everything alive is the colour of coal, weighing down on my shoulders. In this dark world, only the water in the river throws up bright rays of light.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Un vélo dans la tête

Un vélo dans la tête

“We leave Loreto in a cumulus of dust. Me up front. I pedal and turn around sometimes, out of habit. Usually I like looking at the invisible trail I leave behind on the roads. But this time I turn around. And I see Sam.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Le chant de la terre innue

Le chant de la terre innue

To the north, shoulders leaning over the rim of the horizon, mountains crane their broad necks to peer into the depths. Slowly, wind and time relieve them of their own weight: they fill out like geese, then lift their necks and take off into a sea of stars. Other mountains, closer to me, come brand new out of the ground, take the same path, and prepare for their mass migration through the black waters of the night.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Metamorphosis Interrupted

Metamorphosis Interrupted

Michèle Thibeau is, among other things, a curious being, a creative writer, and a lifelong learner. She loves experimenting with the magic and mystery of short story and poetry. Metamorphosis Interrupted explores vulnerability and trust.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32A short story by Michèle Thibeau
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La Fiancée américaine

La Fiancée américaine

On September 1, 1939, a huge ass rose on the German horizon. Like a star, it climbed high into a sky normally filled with pale moons, patches of fog, and the occasional harmless witch. Once it was nice and high in the sky, it began to shit, Kapriel. In your country, it snows. Well here, it shits. Brown sticky, stinking flakes of it began to fall lazily to the ground. They fell on people, on cars, on the Olympic Stadium… First across Germany, then across the rest of Europe. At the start, we managed to shovel away the shit that was falling, but soon it was up to our knees, then our waists. It shat for six years. Even today, we’re still shoveling away the shit that began to fall that day. What? You thought it had been shitting for a long time before that in Germany? Yes, but it only began to stink on September 1, 1939. You know the rest.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Against God

Against God

and it all starts when you go to the front door only to be confronted with two cops who look at you as though they’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, they ask you your name and your answer doesn’t make them feel any better, their faces just get even longer, so you wait […] and finally you ask what’s going on…

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Susan Ouriou and Christelle Morelli
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8:17 PM, Rue Darling

8:17 PM, Rue Darling

“Stories are sacred. I’m unsure about a lot of things in life, but I know stories are sacred. Stories are the only eternity an agnostic like me can believe in…”

8:17 PM, Rue Darling is Montréal noir with an unmistakable French accent. Gérard is an alcoholic and former crime reporter, gone back to live in the disaster of a Montreal neighbourhood where he grew up. We follow him as he looks for answers in this flawed world.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by John Gilmore
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La Saison des pluies

La Saison des pluies

La Saison des pluies (The rainy season) tells the story of a seven-year-old boy dealing with his father’s death. This children’s book is very short (around 4,000 words), but it is telling that it was written by a poet: every word packs a punch. The overall effect is simple, beautiful, and very sad. It has won all kinds of awards since it was published.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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Terre à bois

Terre à bois

“The mayor was by far the biggest fish in this pond. He commanded respect but also scared the hell out of people. While nobody seemed to show any particular aversion to the mayor, Alain could sense there was some kind of omerta at play here, a code of silence that surely had more to do with fear than esteem for the man. Everybody owed Réal Fortier something, one way or another.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by David Warriner
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J’écris parce que je chante mal

J’écris parce que je chante mal

“You’ll lock your bedroom door, putting up a ‘No Adults’ poster. I’ll swear I find the whole thing idiotic, even though I’ll envy your own little kingdom where your worries seem very small indeed to me from the outside. Your arms, your nose, your ears will grow too quickly and you’ll look like a monkey for a while. Your mother will still think you’re gorgeous. I won’t be so sure.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Peter McCambridge
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