Are sales of translations at an all-time high? Are national newspapers spotlighting new books from Quebec and profiling the hottest Quebec talent more than ever? Are Christian Guay-Poliquin and Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette household names outside of the province? The short answer is that, with column inches, shelf space, and readers’ attention spans all in short supply, I don’t believe that French-to-English translation is experiencing quite the surge in attention that some people might think, although numbers are frustratingly hard to come by.
Part of me wants to say that nîtisânak is the literary equivalent of a middle finger, sporting chipped black nail polish and waving in front of Nixon’s knowing smirk. At times it is, directing justifiable anger and irreverence towards racist, transphobic, and homophobic institutions, perceptions, and people.
Friedrich Nietzsche once famously wrote, “Without music, life would be a mistake,” and Harry Abley – organist, choirmaster, conductor, and music teacher – might agree. The Organist: Fugues, Fatherhood, and a Fragile Mind, written by Mark Abley, his son, is a love letter, a eulogy of sorts, to a misunderstood musician, and a valedictory tribute to a bygone era.
In Tess Liem’s Obits., we make our way with the poet through the challenging process of mourning as she reflects on her own mortality. Attentive and introspective, these poems draw from contemporary events, psychoanalysis, mythology, television, feminist writing, and other sources in order to ponder death in all its intimacy
In This Woman’s Work, which exists in the liminal space between autofiction and memoir, Delporte finds the words and draws the images to evoke the struggles of women as they navigate assumptions about gender, femininity, and creativity. The book is both deeply intimate and also emblematic of women who are at a time of crisis, opportunity, and, hopefully, progress.
From the current issue: Spring 2019
Latest from the blog
Poem of the Month
We live on an island I mean I don’t know all the history It’s never really understood Where is home The landscape drifts This is my climate And now we’ve all arrived And the doors are locked So there’s the street and all its people We were talking about coincidence last time we were here […]