news | Tuesday August 9, 2022
Celebrate the 9th annual Le 12 août, j’achète un livre québécois / On August 12, Buy a Quebec Book Day! This initiative seeks to highlight the literary works of phenomenal Québécois authors.
At Talonbooks we specialise in translations of wonderful writing out of Québec across genres. We are so pleased to be able to bring poetry, non-fiction, plays, and novels from Québec to English readers everywhere. In honour of the 12 août event, we’ve compiled a list of some recent, translated works we are excited about. Check them out below:
1. Falling Shadows by Christian Guay-Poliquin and translated by David Homel
Hot off the press! Falling Shadows, the third book in the arresting, post-apocalyptic series by Christian Guay-Poliquin has arrived!
The forest is wild and full of hostile factions. Lost, pursued, and threatened by his environment, a lone man struggles through the woods towards the hunting cabin where his family has taken refuge. On the way he meets a mysterious twelve-year-old boy. The two must work together to survive in a landscape fraught with danger.
This is Québec writer Christian Guay-Poliquin’s much anticipated third instalment in the series of gripping post-apocalyptic novels initiated with Running on Fumes and prolonged by the international bestseller The Weight of Snow published by Talonbooks in 2016 and 2019. The Weight of Snow was long-listed for the 2020 Sunburst Award and was translated into fifteen languages. Throughout these novels, Guay-Poliquin has developed a unique storytelling craft; his narratives are grounded in the demands and details of daily life and in a world ripe with experience.
2. Twists of Fate by Michel Tremblay and translated by Linda Gaboriau
Twists of Fate encompasses the sixth and seventh books in the Desrosiers Diaspora series; “If By Chance” and “Destination Paradise”. In “If By Chance”, it’s 1925 when the notorious Ti-Lou abandons a life of serving diplomats and men of power. Sneaking away with all of her savings, she winds up at Windsor station staring down five possible fates, each with their own unique gifts and deficits. Ti-Lou must decide which long-held parts of herself to nurture, and which to let fall away.
“Destination Paradise” follows precocious Édouard in a queer coming-of-age tale set in 1930. Destined to one day become a star of the Montréal drag scene, “Destination Paradise” explores the murky time before Édouard emerges into his spotlight. A moving portrait of a young man’s search for belonging and journey to finding himself.
Born in a working-class family in Quebec, novelist and playwright Michel Tremblay was raised in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. An ardent reader from a young age, Tremblay began to write, in hiding, as a teenager. Because of their charismatic originality, their vibrant character portrayals, and the profound vision they embody, Tremblay’s dramatic, literary, and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity; his plays have been adapted and translated into dozens of languages and have achieved huge success throughout Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East.
3. Orwell in Cuba by Frédérick Lavoie and translated by Donald Winkler
In Orwell in Cuba, journalist Frédérick Lavoie seeks to unravel the story behind a mysterious new translation of Orwell’s 1984 in Cuba that appears just before a major book fair. With 1984’s taboo history in the country, it becomes clear to Lavoie that something unusual is afoot. With all the propulsion of a detective story, Orwell in Cuba paints a wonderfully illustrative picture of a country and its people in the midst of a regime change.
Born in Chicoutimi in 1983, Frédérick Lavoie is a writer and freelance journalist. He is the author of three nonfiction books, including For Want of a Fir Tree: Ukraine Undone (Linda Leith Publishing, 2018) and Avant l’après: Voyages à Cuba avec George Orwell, winner of the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award.
Head to your local independent book store on August 12 and snag your next read in honour of Le 12 août, j’achète un livre québécois / On August 12, Buy a Quebec Book Day. Happy reading!