MéganticFront Cover

ISBN: 9781772012590 | Paperback

288 pages | Pub. Date: 20200826
9 W × 6 H × 1 D inches
forthcoming | Non-Fiction | Bisac: LAW117000
Rights: WORLD

Lac-Mégantic, Québec, Canada – July 6, 2013. On a hot summer night, a driverless, out-of-control train descends the slope that leads to the scenic town below and explodes, pulverizing the downtown area and killing forty-seven unsuspecting victims. The devastation, which leaves the people of Lac-Mégantic dazed and in mourning, is quickly the object of a tortuous cover-up. Who are the tragedy’s real culprits?

In this fascinating piece of investigative journalism, which unfolds like a thriller, Saint-Cerny reveals the inner workings of the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. She uncovers how the disaster, far from being just an “error of a faulty system,” was caused by powerful people and institutions distant from the town itself.

The tragedy of Lac-Mégantic began far before the train’s brakes failed; it was conceived in the offices of Wall Street hedge funders, of Dakota black-gold cowboy magnates, of oil conglomerates, of a political class entirely devoted to the interests of the rail industry. And when it struck, it hit a population which, while still in shock, found itself at the mercy of local predators.

The fruit of five years of work and interviews with nearly a hundred people, including victims and their relatives, Mégantic: A Tragedy in Waiting, tells the story of the disaster in three acts – before, during, and after – in an investigation whose ultimate goal is to prevent the preventable.

By Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny

Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny has been a social and environmental activist in various NGOs for over thirty-five years. Videographer, essayist, and novelist, her book-length piece of investigative journalism Mégantic, Une tragédie annoncée (Éditions Écosociété, 2018) was in its original French edition the winner of the 2018 prix Pierre-Vadeboncoeur, a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Awards for Non-Fiction, and was listed for the 2019 Prix des libraires.

Read more about Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny


Translated by W. Donald Wilson

W. Donald Wilson has taught at universities in the West Indies, the United Kingdom, and at the University of Waterloo. In 2011 and 2013, two of Wilson’s translations were long-listed for the Best Translated Book Award in the United States, and in 2013 he was a finalist for the French-American Foundation translation prize.

Read more about W. Donald Wilson


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