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QuébecReads
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Literary fiction & more from Québec
Literary fiction & more from Québec

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"They say that seawater washes sins away. They say that salt from the ocean removes any dirt trapped in the skin’s pores. They say you should gargle saltwater to get rid of nasty stuff, bacteria, things caught on your tonsils. And they say that when you look out to sea, you feel just as tiny as you do beneath the dark sky of night. That you disappear into the vastness of it all. That’s really all we’re hoping for today. To vanish into the dense, liquid air of a white shoreline. Marie is dead."

New this week:

The Muscles of Mermaids,
a short story by Mikella Nicol
translated by Peter McCambridge

www.quebecreads.com/muscles

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New this week:

Marie-Claude Plourde translates an excerpt from POUR RÉUSSIR UN POULET, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2015

Pour réussir un poulet is a raw and cruel portrait of the exploitation of human misery, and Marie-Claude Plourde’s translation brings across the gritty, rhythmic language of the original in working-class English that verges on broken.

Pour réussir un poulet
by Fabien Cloutier
L’instant scène, 2014

www.quebecreads.com/poulet

Québec Reads for reviews, interviews & excerpts on the best of contemporary Quebec literature
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New this week: An interview with Montreal writer Matthew Murphy, author of A Beckoning War, out this month from Baraka Books

"I think it’s a sort of an interior epic, an intense and slightly surreal journey into the porous borderlands of the political and the personal. A descent into hell, a kind of dark night of the mind, body, and soul of one person as lit by the hellfire of combat. It’s a story of love and war, and an exploration of the role of choice in the happenings of the world, even in large, inevitable-seeming events."

A Beckoning War
by Matthew Murphy
Baraka Books, 2016

Québec Reads for reviews, interviews & excerpts on the best of contemporary Quebec literature
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This week's review: It’s larger than life in the Yukon, in among “the moose antlers and the Star Choice dishes.”

www.quebecreads.com/yukon

Yukonstyle
by Sarah Berthiaume
translated by Nadine Desrochers
Playwrights Canada Press, 2014

Québec Reads for reviews, interviews & excerpts on the best of contemporary Quebec literature
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New this week: A review of La femme qui fuit

"There are parallels between family history and Canadian history, between family and the world of art. And it’s hard not to compare the writing to the act of painting. Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s creation is always easy on the eye, short sentences adding to the effect in successive layers. Because this exquisite novel is a tribute to beauty, to creation, to life itself. Vulnerable and magnificent and heartfelt, all at once."

www.quebecreads.com/fuit

La femme qui fuit
Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette
Marchand de feuilles, 2015

Québec Reads for reviews, interviews & excerpts on the best of contemporary Quebec literature
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New this week: An extract from Jean-Paul Murray's translation of Betsi Larousse
"The speed’s gentle vibration wrapped the car like a cocoon. Threads of fog dangled from the yellow light beam that darted ahead. To the right, a forest brushed with headlights revealed auburn stains and rust smears. Now and again, a lonely maple reddened by the first frosts jumped out of the woods like a blood-smeared ghost."
www.quebecreads.com/betsi
Betsi Larousse
by Louis Hamelin
translated by Jean-Paul Murray
Exstasis Editions

Québec Reads for reviews, interviews & excerpts on the best of contemporary Quebec literature
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New this week: A review of Neil Smith's translation of The Goddess of Fireflies
to be published by Esplanade Books later this month  

It’s a world of dilemmas (“I had to look sexy, but not sleazy”), of boyfriends that smell good (“like Bounce”), and of the relief that comes from knowing you’re going to make out (“I was so glad I hadn’t ordered Doritos.”). They play by their rules (“We all agreed that if a guy played the drums in a punk band, you went out with him.”), drink vodka at the mall, snort drugs from the top of the toilet tank at McDonalds, sniff gas, have their stomachs pumped in the ER, and despair at the choice of boxers worn by the boys they lose their virginity to (“He had a Superman pair, a white pair with a hole in the butt, and a couple of faded black pairs.”).

www.quebecreads.com/goddess
The Goddess of Fireflies
(La Déesse des mouches à feu, Le Quartanier Éditeur, 2014)
by Geneviève Pettersen
translated by Neil Smith
Esplanade Books, Véhicule Press, 2016

For more reviews, interviews & excerpts on the best of contemporary Quebec literature, sign up to the Québec Reads newsletter!
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“Obviously Kevin was the love of my life and he’d take me on a trip to Berlin one day. I remember I kissed him a long time on that big rock, and then it started to drizzle so we went inside.”

Enjoy an extract from Neil Smith's translation before we review The Goddess of Fireflies tomorrow

www.quebecreads.com/goddessx

The Goddess of Fireflies
(La Déesse des mouches à feu, Le Quartanier Éditeur, 2014)
by Geneviève Pettersen
translated by Neil Smith
Esplanade Books, Véhicule Press, 2016

For more reviews, interviews & excerpts on the best of contemporary Quebec literature, sign up to the Québec Reads newsletter!
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New this week: A sneak peek at Neil Smith's translation of The Goddess of Fireflies
to be published by Esplanade Books later this month

"Melanie told us she was thinking about breaking up with Pascal because on the weekend she’d met a new guy named Simon who was way cuter. He had a dirt bike and played the drums. We all agreed that if a guy played the drums in a punk band, you went out with him. I decided if Melanie dumped Pascal, I’d go up and talk to him at the mall."

www.quebecreads.com/goddessx

The Goddess of Fireflies
by Geneviève Pettersen
translated by Neil Smith
Esplanade Books, 2016

For more reviews, interviews & excerpts on the best of contemporary Quebec literature, sign up to the Québec Reads newsletter!
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New this week: David Warriner translates the first chapter of Le chasseur inconnu, a first novel by Jean-Michel Fortier

“'My children, let us all go home. There is no point in us slandering any further. Let’s see how things look in the morning.'

It seems they want to cut the meeting short. We look at the priest, who’s sweating more than usual, perhaps he’s having digestion trouble this evening, or perhaps it’s his nerves, we daren’t ask him; a holy man’s stomach upsets are probably tied to the heavens, but at least the meeting didn’t drag on and on and we can go home to watch over our things, that’s right, we’re going to keep our eyes open from now on."

www.quebecreads.com/chasseurx
Le chasseur inconnu by Jean-Michel Fortier
La Mèche, 2014

www.quebecreads.com/chasseurx

For more reviews, interviews & excerpts on the best of contemporary Quebec literature, sign up to the Québec Reads newsletter!
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