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Tuesday January 13, 2015 in Books
With an afterword by Maïr Verthuy
One of Canada’s greatest literary figures reflects on life at the centre of Quebec literary arts. Re-examining the influences of her early life in a large, rural Catholic family, Madeleine Gagnon not only explores her rejection of unexamined values as part of her intellectual development but also her refusal to be categorized by her gender.
Karl Marx replaced Paul Claudel in Gagnon’s intellectual pantheon. Psychoanalysis gave rise to the desire to write, and her first works poured out in a torrent. She describes the friendships that played such a large part in her life and the feminist battles of the time with all their hopes, disappointments, and triumphs.
This is an account of a life well lived, told with candour, wisdom, and an inextinguishable sense of wonder.
Read an excerpt from As Always on Meta-Talon.
ISBN 13: 9780889228962 | ISBN 10: 0889228965
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 336 pages
$22.95 CAN / $22.95 US
Backlist | Non-Fiction
QUOTES OF NOTE
“An engaging read that invites both admirers of Gagnon’s writing and a scholarly audience. To the credit of Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott, Gagnon’s voice is unmistakable – intelligent, passionate, and determined – in what appears to be an effortless English translation.”
– Montreal Review of Books
“It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything as beautiful and luminous as this book.”
– Manon Trépanier, Radio-Canada
“A portrait of a changing Quebec. And an account of the life of a woman who, at nearly seventy-five, is examining who she has become in the light of who she has been … little girl, sister, lover, mother, intellectual, feminist, writer. They are all present in this book.”
– Danielle Laurin, Le Devoir
“She always wanted to learn. She always wanted to write. She always wanted to fight injustice. The autobiography of Madeleine Gagnon, one of our greatest literary figures, takes us through the private life and the intellectual and artistic career of a passionately committed woman in a Quebec undergoing a major transformation … not to be missed.”
– Chantal Guy, La Presse
Shortlisted for the 2015 Cole Foundation Prize for Translation (Quebec Writers’ Federation Awards)
About the ContributorsMadeleine Gagnon
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 on Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, 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.Phyllis Aronoff
Phyllis Aronoff translates fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from French to English. The Wanderer, her translation of Régine Robin’s La Québécoite, received the 1998 Jewish Literary Award for fiction. The Great Peace of Montreal of 1701, by Gilles Havard, co-translated with Howard Scott, won the Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Award. A Slight Case of Fatigue, by Stéphane Bourguignon, another co-translation with Howard Scott, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Phyllis Aronoff is a past president of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada and currently represents translators on the Public Lending Right Commission of Canada.Howard Scott
Howard Scott is a Montreal literary translator who works with fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. His translations include works by Madeleine Gagnon, science-fiction writer Élisabeth Vonarburg, and Canada’s Poet Laureate, Michel Pleau. Scott received the Governor General’s Literary Award for his translation of Louky Bersianik’s The Euguelion. The Great Peace of Montreal of 1701, by Gilles Havard, which he co-translated with Phyllis Aronoff, won the Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Award. A Slight Case of Fatigue, by Stéphane Bourguignon, another co-translation with Phyllis Aronoff, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Howard Scott is a past president of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.