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In a review by Klara du Plessis, published this week in the Montreal Review of Books, Madeleine Gagnon’s autobiography As Always: Memoir of a Life in Writing ($22.95) is called “intelligent, passionate, and determined,” and its French-to-English translators, Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott, are credited with producing a seemingly “effortless” translation. We couldn’t agree more; As Always is highly readable memoir and an essential contribution to Quebec culture. Highlights from the review follow:
Couched in the English title of Madeleine Gagnon’s newly translated autobiography is a consciousness of the inability to accurately convey the facts of one’s life. Memoir refers not only to a Life, but more specifically to a Life in Writing: “fiction is everywhere when you tell your own story,” Gagnon writes. Autobiography emerges from the contradiction between a unified life and multiple selves. …
Yet in her memoir, Gagnon’s own books and literary achievements feature as side notes. …
It is exactly this marginalization of her writing that highlights its importance. Literature does not need designated segments of narration; it is omnipresent. Always generous to family, friends, and fellow writers, Gagnon is ultimately dedicated to her writing, which is her life. …
As Always is 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.
By Carl Peters
On Meta-Talon today, please enjoy the full text of the presentation given by Carl Peters at the Modern Languages Association convention in New York City on January 7, 2018. This talk responds to the question posed in the MLA convention session Rhetoric in Post-Factual Times: how to perform textual analysis in a time when facts are no longer the marker of good argumentation. (Peters’s talk is also related to his work on Stein; Peters is recently the author of Studies in Description: Reading Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons.)Thursday December 21, 2017 in Meta-Talon
Our little end-of-year present to you is a miniature from M.A.C. Farrant’s delightful collection of very short stories, The World Afloat. Happy Holidays from Talonbooks!
Our Spiritual Lives
We’ve seen stains on tea towels that look like Jesus Christ’s face so we know he exists. And we know that dried seaweed can save the Douglas fir from extinction so we hang dried seaweed from the tree’s branches.Tuesday December 5, 2017 in Meta-Talon
A finalist for the 2006 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, In a World Created by a Drunken God has been in steady demand since it was first published 11 years ago. From 2006 until the end of 2017, In a World Created by a Drunken God was in print with its original cover, which showed moving boxes and a flip phone. Now, Talonbooks has reprinted In a World Created by a Drunken God for the fourth time, and it wears a dynamic, new cover …Tuesday September 26, 2017 in Meta-Talon
From Oral to Written is a study of Native literature published in Canada between 1980 and 2010, a catalogue of amazing books that sparked the embers of a dormant voice. Leading Aboriginal author Tomson Highway surveys the first wave of Native writers published in Canada, highlighting the most gifted authors and the best stories they have told, offering non-Native readers access to reconciliation and understanding, and at the same time engendering among Native readers pride in a stellar body of work. On Meta-Talon, read a selection from Highway’s prologue.
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.