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Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
Martine Desjardins

author photo: Louis Desjardins

Martine Desjardins was born in the Town of Mount Royal, Quebec, in 1957. The second child of six, she started writing short stories when she was seventeen. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Russian and Italian studies at the University of Montreal, she went on to complete a master’s degree in comparative literature, exploring humour in Dostoevsky’s The Devils. She worked as an assistant editor-in-chief at ELLE Québec magazine for four years before leaving to devote herself to writing. Presently she works as a freelance rewriter, translator and journalist for L’actualité, an award-winning French-language current affairs magazine in Canada. Her first novel, Le cercle de Clara, was published by Leméac in 1997, and was nominated for both the Prix littéraires du Québec and the Grand prix des lectrices de ELLE Québec in 1998. Desjardins currently lives in the Town of Mount Royal. In her free time, she paints miniature models of ruins overgrown with vegetation.

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August 2013 : 500 Talon Ebooks Sold!

July 2013 : Short-listed for the Sunburst Awards: Maleficium by Martine Desjardins!



Winner of the 2013 Sunburst Award
Winner of the Prix Jacques Brossard
Finalist for the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award (French Fiction)
Finalist for the Prix des libraires du Québec
Finalist for the Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie
Finalist for the Prix France–Québec


Fairy Ring

Winner of the 2001 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation


All That Glitters

Finalist for the 2005 Governor General’s Literary Award



"The stories in Maleficium are bizarre and bold. Quebec’s Martine Desjardins paints the Orient and its temptations in sensuous detail and frames her travellers’ tales with the church confessional. Ingenious!"
—Katherine Govier

“Lust, greed, retribution, and shame — Maleficium reads like a flesh-bound catalogue of my favourite sins. Desjardins skillfully blends the repulsive with the erotic to craft stories that rise from the past and perfume the air with incense and magic. An intensely pleasurable work that builds, tale by exotic tale, to a dark climax. Forgive me, Father: I loved it.”
—Jenn Farrell

“[Martine Desjardins] has dared to write a book unlike any other, dipping her pen in the ink of a bygone day, before nature and its mysteries had been deciphered; when desire loomed with dark and frightening power. The result is an extraordinary festival of the senses.”

Maleficium is an orgiastic celebration of our five senses … Drawing on explorers’ diaries, medical reference manuals, entomological textbooks and reference works on the varying professions of those who have confided their secret sins to their parish priest, the novel at the same time impressions the reader with its rigorous attention to detail.”
—Le Libraire

“The collection of confessions takes a deliciously strange approach to remembering and retelling the past. In an unexpected twist near the end, an eighth perspective adds compelling backstory and transports readers to new terrain altogether.”
—Quill & Quire


A Covenant of Salt

Mining from the past, Desjardins extracts treasures without "getting caught," and surfaces like a breath of fresh air. A Covenant of Salt marries literary traditions in a sleek gothic ceremony, silvery salt sprinkled like confetti and the Saint Lawrence coursing through.
Montreal Review of Books


All That Glitters

All That Glitters compels and disturbs, leaving us with questions about chance and fate, love and war.”
— Montreal Review of Books

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