Post Tagged with: "fiction"

The Crime on Cote des Neiges

The Crime on Cote des Neiges

The Crime on Cote des Neiges is fun, page-turning goodness, writing to wrap up warm in on a rainy day; a ticket to another world.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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The Crime on Cote des Neiges

The Crime on Cote des Neiges

“Someone had gone to a hell of a lot of trouble just for me… They really needn’t have bothered.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Read the excerpt
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ZORA

ZORA

“Zora’s eyes gleamed like burning coals. For the first time since the beginning of their night ride, Tero was convinced she was not altogether sane.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Fred A. Reed & David Homel
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Partir partir

Partir partir

“We’ll meet back here,” he decided on an impulse. “Same day, same time, ten years from now. Ten. Cross your heart, hope to die.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Frances Pope
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Queues

Queues

“we tolerate Mondays
we tolerate winter mornings
when the first toe to step on the frozen floor
warns us it’s going to be a good day
to die”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Pierre-Luc Landry
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In Search of New Babylon

In Search of New Babylon

“He backed out of the room, never taking his eyes off the preacher.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by W. Donald Wilson
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Document 1

Document 1

“Being armchair tourists suited us down to the ground. We used to say that it would be cool to actually go somewhere, to feel the Pimlico breeze on our skin, to go shopping in downtown Happyland, to make friends in Dirty Butter Creek.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by JC Sutcliffe
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In Search of New Babylon

In Search of New Babylon

“Scali has successfully taken a piece of American history and woven it into a wholly unique Quebec Western.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Megan Callahan
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You Are Bathing In Light

You Are Bathing In Light

“Nothing distinguishes me from them at first glance, if you aren’t looking for it, if you don’t scratch the surface. Me too, just like them, I have an iPod that plays the same songs, khaki polish on my nails and a nice vintage parka, me too, me too, me too, and soon, maybe, I’ll get the death wish out of my DNA, I’ll pry it out with a crowbar.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Natalia Hero
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Twenty-One Cardinals

Twenty-One Cardinals

“We lived in the most wonderful anarchy, and I loved that house. The doors slammed, the stairs trembled, the walls shook, life stamped its feet with impatience.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Rhonda Mullins
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Sports and Pastimes

Sports and Pastimes

“It gets steep. Very steep. I can’t see the end of the incline. It’s really long. Félix takes off like a shot. I hate him.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Aimee Wall
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The Original Face

The Original Face

“This is such a depressing waste of time,” he concludes. “This isn’t my life. My life is going nowhere working on art stuff. How do I get back to my life?”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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La chair de Clémentine

La chair de Clémentine

“It was too much. Much too much. It was madness.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Twenty-One Cardinals

Twenty-One Cardinals

“As the story unfolds, we are given different versions of the same events, in different lights and at slightly different angles.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Megan Callahan
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Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik

Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik

“A dusting of snow had fallen over the village and a green curtain of electric light rippled across the sky.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Read the excerpt
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The Fate of Bonté III

The Fate of Bonté III

The Fate of Bonté III is an odd beast. It’s also extraordinarily good, subdued and quirky in equal measure.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Sun of a Distant Land

Sun of a Distant Land

“Storytelling is a good way to look at the narrative. The Souleye/Soleil French pun being a prime example, translator Claire Holden Rothman has chosen to stick close to the French, given all the wordplay.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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I Never Talk About It

I Never Talk About It

“I don’t know how to do this. How to quit. This.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Guillaume Morissette
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Sun of a Distant Land

Sun of a Distant Land

“I’ve heard it said that troubles don’t arrive alone. One trouble leads to the next, and often the second one is worse than the first. Pa once told me that the Japanese have an expression for this: A wasp stings the crying face.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Claire Holden Rothman
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Royal

Royal

Royal is thoroughly entertaining, which comes as something of a surprise given the on-the-face-of-it thoroughly unpleasant narrator, the potentially dry subject matter, and the lack of stakes.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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The Fate of Bonté III

The Fate of Bonté III

“What kind of a man was he? A man like any other. A man like me. A man like you.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Rob Twiss
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L’Équation du temps

L’Équation du temps

There’s a strange beauty to the melancholy. Things are grotty but never gritty; realistic and unbelievable all at once.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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The Closed Door

The Closed Door

“I think to myself, yes, we’re happy. If there is a threat to our marriage, it’s not coming from me.”

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

Testament

“This is narrative as a performance. And what a performance.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Testament

Testament

“Maman, I eat hard knocks for breakfast. Maman, I drank every day for six years.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Aimee Wall
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Jeanne

Jeanne

Jean has harboured a secret his whole life. He’s not the man his mother raised him to be.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by David Warriner
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Tio

Tio

“If only he could strike a lode of silver in here and get the hell out. Get out of Potosi, and if possible, get out of Bolivia altogether.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Novella by Matthew Murphy
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Bitter Rose

Bitter Rose

Gender runs through this novel—or is it fictionalized memoir?—this “world where no one spoke of men, they were not a subject of conversation because they didn’t really exist…”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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News From My Mother

News From My Mother

“I walked from one apartment block to the other, trying to find a trace of your existence. It’s stupid, I know. But I was hoping that the happiness you guys felt forty years ago would have been set in the bricks or concrete, imprisoned in the reflection of the tiles..”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Benjamin Hedley
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Stealing Lord Stanley’s Cup

Stealing Lord Stanley’s Cup

Michel Laprise makes history come alive, lifting statistics and players from the heyday of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens 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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Bodies

Bodies

“I’ve stopped bringing my body out with me again. I date men who don’t have bodies and I pretend I don’t either.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Short story by Natalia Hero
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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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The Unknown Huntsman

The Unknown Huntsman

Katherine Hastings talks about what it was like to translate The Unknown Huntsman, a quirky first novel.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Interview with Katherine Hastings
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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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Dimitri Nasrallah on Hungary-Hollywood Express

Dimitri Nasrallah on Hungary-Hollywood Express

Author, translator, and fiction editor Dimitri Nasrallah reveals what it was like to translate Hungary-Hollywood Express.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Interview with Dimitri Nasrallah
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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

Hungary-Hollywood Express reads very much as though it was written in English. The French never falls flat, and neither does the translation.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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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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Des Explosions

Des Explosions

What if Michael Bay were, against all odds, a misunderstood cinematic genius right up there with the likes of Plato, Sartre, Kant, Derrida, et al.?

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Aleshia Jensen
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The Party Wall

The Party Wall

Leroux’s book is an ambitious exploration of our “plural, incalculable world.” This translation mostly does it justice.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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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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La Chambre verte

La Chambre verte

“In the name of the Dollar, and of the Cent, and of the Holy Economy.” Amen. Martine Desjardin’s La Chambre verte is a delightfully dark and unsettling account of a jealously guarded fortune.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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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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Héliotrope Noir

Héliotrope Noir

David Warriner reviews two of the first three titles to appear in the Héliotrope Noir imprint, Du sang sur ses lèvres and Excellence Poulet.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by David Warriner
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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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Eric Dupont, a Profile

Eric Dupont, a Profile

“Life is made up of conflict, pleasure, harmony, and dissonance. The same elements are found in music, art, and the novels of Eric Dupont.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Profile by Mélanie Vincelette
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Les maisons

Les maisons

Reading this novel is much like listening to good blues. Tessa’s malaise is real and rooted in the everyday; the themes are serious―loss, infidelity, self-esteem, family, nonconformity. But the aesthetics of the work make for a lightness, and the overall effect is uplifting.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Elaine Kennedy
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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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Arvida and the Best Translated Book Award

Arvida and the Best Translated Book Award

The winner of the 2016 Best Translated Book Award is set to be announced on May 4, and Quebec’s very own Arvida is very much in the running. Peter McCambridge sat down with P.T. Smith, one of the fiction jury’s nine members, to discuss Arvida’s chances.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Interview with P.T. Smith
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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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Eric Dupont, a Self-Portrait

Eric Dupont, a Self-Portrait

“Books have always accompanied me. Even in an education system that had declared war on literature, I managed, with the help of a few high-school librarians, to satisfy my appetite for reading. Bless them.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Self-portrait by Eric Dupont
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La femme qui fuit

La femme qui fuit

This exquisite novel is a tribute to beauty, to creation, to life itself. Vulnerable and magnificent and heartfelt, all at once. *Winner of the 2016 Prix des libraires award from the booksellers of Quebec*

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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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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The Goddess of Fireflies

The Goddess of Fireflies

The pages fly by as we watch Catherine’s fate unfold in simple scenes that manage to convey years of teenage awkwardness and dreams in just a few lines.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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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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Le chasseur inconnu

Le chasseur inconnu

Le chasseur inconnu is literally a timeless tale, with temporal references as few and far between as outsiders in the village.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by David Warriner
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A Beckoning War

A Beckoning War

“In the roomy cinderblock barn now serving as his headquarters, he ticks down the minutes till the attack, cigarette by cigarette, the burning fuse of time. Twenty minutes. Ten minutes. Soldiers come and go.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Read the excerpt
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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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A Beckoning War

A Beckoning War

Machine guns snarl to life as Jim leads his men, his “angels in khaki,” into “the livid, roaring inferno of combat” in northern Italy during the second world war. Murphy’s original, inventive prose lives long in the memory.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Nord Alice

Nord Alice

In Nord Alice, the narrator is obsessed with Alice, a doctor like himself and the lover whose anguish and anxiety he can never manage to calm.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Kathryn Gabinet-Kroo
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Les corps extraterrestres

Les corps extraterrestres

It has the feel of a road trip, or at least of a journey of discovery, of self-exploration, of star-gazing and navel-gazing. This novel belongs firmly in the camp of “international” literature to come out of Quebec.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Life in the Court of Matane

Life in the Court of Matane

Throughout, Dupont is aware of the transformational power of literature and his own brand of writing is more powerful than most. We do not leave this world of his making unscathed.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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A Close Call for Christmas

A Close Call for Christmas

This witty and beautifully illustrated children’s story is guaranteed to brighten your Holiday season.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Arvida

Arvida

These are stories of stories: what they do, what life becomes through them, and why they should be passed on.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by P.T. Smith
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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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Paths of Desire

Paths of Desire

Paths of Desire is an intriguing title for a novel. “You see them in parks sometimes. They’re the rough trails made by people who leave the marked footpaths and cut across a grassy area or field. Some say these paths are the result of bad urban planning, but I wonder if it isn’t simply an expression of non-conformity, a desire for freedom.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by David Warriner
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The Lake

The Lake

This is writing of the highest order, published in France by Gallimard no less and now in English translation for House of Anansi’s Arachnide imprint. It was even up for this year’s Governor General’s Award for translation, ultimately edged out by Twenty-One Cardinals.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Six degrés de liberté

Six degrés de liberté

Quirky details and curiosities abound in this Governor General’s Award-winning novel on the most unpromising of subjects: the world of shipping containers. Packed full of delicious facts and asides, it rewards close reading and, most importantly, entertains from start to finish.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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The Orange Grove

The Orange Grove

Quebec literature can often be labelled inward-looking. But Larry Tremblay’s The Orange Grove, set in an unnamed country torn apart by violence, is a piece of truly international literature.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Arielle Aaronson
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La fée des balcons

La fée des balcons

La fée des balcons is a pre-coming-of-age story buoyed by its indomitable narrator and beautiful, tender writing.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review 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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Cycling to Asylum

Cycling to Asylum

“What did he say?
“He said something about how I should leave now unless I planned to stay forever.”
“So you stayed.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Read the excerpt
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For Anne

For Anne

Some things in life are just hard to explain to your kids, you know? But you still have to try; it’s usually worth it.
Take my daughter Anne, for instance, who was asking why two of her playmates always speak English with each other, even though they have French names and their parents speak French. That’s weird. How come?
Well it just so happens that I kind of know their family.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Madeleine Stratford
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Captive

Captive

Away from alcohol, work, friends, family, television, and everything else that tends to stand between us and life, Julian and Emma are subjected to a series of increasingly cruel and unusual tests. Why them? What is this? Some kind of twisted reality TV show?

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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L’année la plus longue

L’année la plus longue

L’année la plus longue—Daniel Grenier’s first novel following an initial collection of short stories, also published by Le Quartanier—is impressive both in scope and ambition. It is the “story of a man who couldn’t grow old,” a saga of epic proportions.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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La Fiancée américaine

La Fiancée américaine

La Fiancée américaine (The American fiancée) is an epic, a playful, quirky family saga that takes in all of the 20th century, from parochial Rivière-du-Loup to Dachau, post-GDR Berlin, New York City, Rome, and Japan. It has been favourably compared to Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks, and Dupont himself to John Irving and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. High praise indeed. Read on to find out why.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Atavisms

Atavisms

The thirteen stories move across time, some set contemporarily, others in the past or the future. The movement is not linear; with the start of each, the moment in history needs to be located anew. However, the place is ever the same. These are stories of Quebec, both in their location and their hearts.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by P.T. Smith
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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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Repentir(s)

Repentir(s)

Ste-Marie has a strong background in fine arts, and he weaves his experience masterfully into the fabric of this novel. He opens a door for the reader to the inner sanctum of the art world—dusty studios, antique tubes of oil paint, forgers, fraudsters, and all. Through Pagliaro, he offers a window into a more discerning kind of detective.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review 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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L’angoisse du poisson rouge

L’angoisse du poisson rouge

One of fiction’s most valuable roles must be to get the reader to stop and consider something they had previously been aware of without ever taking the time to probe and investigate more thoroughly. L’angoisse du poisson rouge will leave more than a few anxious to read up on Italy’s role in the second world war.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Ravenscrag

Ravenscrag

It’s complicated. Written by Alain Farah, Pourquoi Bologne, here translated by Lazer Lederhendler as Ravenscrag and published by House of Anansi’s Arachnide imprint, involves a writer named Alain Farah who is simultaneously living in Montreal in 1962 and 2012.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Ru

Ru

Kim Thúy’s Ru just won Canada Reads, but we’re not convinced:

“It is perfect book club fodder: Exotic, but not too foreign. Well written, but not hard to read, not overly literary. From Quebec, but universal enough to be translated and read in so many languages. It’s a safe choice, part of a rather bland current of global world literature that takes few risks.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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Terreur dans le Downtown Eastside

Terreur dans le Downtown Eastside

In her debut novel, the first in an upcoming trilogy, Jacqueline Landry takes us by the hand and leads us deep into the bowels of the Vancouver ghetto, where a serial killer is targeting prostitutes who work the streets.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by David Warriner
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Les peaux cassées

Les peaux cassées

The title is a pun. “Pots cassés” means “pieces” or “consequences” (as in “picking up the pieces” or “suffering the consequences”) but in this charming, inventive little novel its homonym is taken literally: Richard works at a clinic repairing “broken skin.” We’re in an allegory. And more often than not Dallaire’s metaphors are taken literally, taking on a physical presence in this world of his imagination.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review 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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Sports et divertissements

Sports et divertissements

Every minute spent in this anti-hero’s company is a delight. There are dizzyingly great drunken scenes, there’s cocaine, orgies (“The pool filter had better be in top shape—it’s going to have its work cut out”), spiked drinks, illegal border crossings, unfastened seatbelts, bad sex, a suicide, and more bad sex (“At least he came. My pride is intact.”). And yet as readers we demand more. More! we shout as we bounce from excess to excess.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review by Peter McCambridge
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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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Le rôle des cochons

Le rôle des cochons

This is an action-packed young adult novel, weaving real historical events and heavy themes into the day-to-day concerns of a young boy between the ages of 12 and 16. It is written simply and well, posing some troubling questions along the way, all based around De La Salle’s expedition to Louisiana in 1684.

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Review 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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Serafim and Claire

Serafim and Claire

“He followed Claire into the club, keeping close as they walked deeper into the bare-bulbed electric light, where sweat, smoke, alcohol, and perfume washed over them in a raucous wave that almost knocked Serafim back. The music was more ardent and raw than in the other clubs, with newly arrived musicians pulling bronze trumpets and saxophones out of cases lined with purple velvet and shouldering their way closer to the stage. To Serafim, it was bedlam. Claire, on the other hand, fed on the chaos.”

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Read the excerpt
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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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