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Madeleine Gagnon has made a mark on Quebec literature as a poet, novelist, and non-fiction writer. Born in Amqui, a little village in the Matapedia Valley, she decided at the age of twelve to be a writer, and after her early education with the Ursuline nuns, went on to study literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis at the Université de Montréal, the Sorbonne, and the Université d’Aix-en-Provence, where she received her doctorate. Since 1969, she has published over thirty books while at the same time teaching literature in several Quebec universities. Her work in all genres combines passion, lucidity, erudition, poetic vision, and political commitment, boldly transgressing the boundaries between poetry and prose. Among her many awards are the prestigious Athanase-David Prize (2002) for her lifetime body of work, the Governor General’s Award for Poetry (1990) for Chant pour un Québec lointain (translated by Howard Scott as Song for a Far Quebec), and the Journal de Montréal Prize (1986) for Les Fleurs du catalpa. Her work has also won international recognition, with many publications in France and some fifteen translations into English, Spanish and Italian. Nancy Huston has described Madeleine Gagnon as someone in whom the boundary between inner and outer life is porous; her words are poetry and her ear for the words of others is poetry too. Everything she takes in from the world is filtered, processed, transformed by the insistent rhythms of the songs within her.
BOOK AWARDSMy Name Is Bosnia
IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Longlist, 2007”
QUOTES OF NOTEAgainst the Wind
"The magic of Gagnon’s writing, her metaphysical descriptions and elicitory vocabulary, her understanding of the workings of the mind, makes Joseph a empathetic character. Against the Wind is an intuitive novel, a spellbinding look into the mind of a man who is a son, an artist, a lover and a father."
—The Toronto Star
"After reading a book like this, you just want to remain silent, to talk only to yourself, in order to keep alive in your mind the resonances of a unique fictional world that has touched you, charmed you and won you over, revealing truths about both an individual and his society at the same time."
"[Gagnon is] someone in whom the boundary between inner and outer life is porous, her words are poetry and her ear for the words of others is poetry too. Everything she takes in from the world is filtered, processed, transformed by the insistent rhythms of the songs within her."
QUOTES OF NOTEMy Name Is Bosnia
"Movingly captures the transformative effect of war on human consciousness …"
"In Gagnon’s deft hands the narrative is stirring but never maudlin."
—Quill & Quire
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program; and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.