The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee by Ruth DyckFehderau

According to the Diabetes Canada website, there are 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. Every three minutes, another Canadian is diagnosed. For the James Bay Cree living in the territory of Eeyou Istchee in Northern Quebec, “fully one-third of the adults have been diagnosed with type 2 or gestational diabetes and more remain undiagnosed.”

The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee was produced by creehealth.org in order to educate and inform the Cree and other Indigenous peoples of the dangers of eating too much of the wrong foods

and not getting enough exercise.… Continue reading

Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont (translated by Peter McCambridge)

Note to readers: In lieu of the regular review that I would normally post, I am instead publishing a letter* I received from a reader regarding Songs for the Cold of Heart (2018, QC Fiction). I found it fairly sums up my thoughts on the book, and I reprint it here with the sender’s permission.

Dear Mr. Fisher,

May I call you James? I am one of the 12 subscribers to your blog (I do hope you get more soon, people don’t know what they are missing) and I wanted to not only thank you for alerting your few readers to the fact that the east coast of Canada has many fine writers, but la belle province has a number of them as well.… Continue reading

Behind the Eyes We Meet by Mélissa Verreault

Verreault has a master’s degree in translation from Université Laval in Quebec City and lives in Lévis with her Italian husband and their triplets. She has published three novels in French. Behind The Eyes We Meet is the English translation of L’angoisse du poisson rouge, her first novel to be translated. The translator is Arielle Aaronson.

Behind The Eyes We Meet is several stories in one, that of Sergio (a POW in WWII) and his grandson Fabio, who emigrated to Canada and now resides in Montreal, and Manue (short for Emmanuelle) who discerns that there is something missing from her twenty-something life.… Continue reading

The Back Road and Beyond by Robert McKay

Miramichi author Robert McKay is back with another self-published volume of personal stories to follow-up on his 2010 book The Back Road. That book was a look back at life growing up in Newcastle (now part of the amalgamated city of Miramichi) in the 1940’s and 50’s. They are for the most part humorous recollections, being composed of the type of adventures to be had by a young lad and his friends in a simpler, carefree time.… Continue reading

Too Much Light for Samuel Gaska by Etienne Beaulieu

t may be just me, but there seems to be a lot of interest in literature coming out of Quebec these days. Whatever the reason, there have been many recent titles worthy of translation in order to reach a wider audience amongst English readers. Too Much Light for Samuel Gaska by Étienne Beaulieu (2016, Quattro Books, and translated by Jonathan Kaplansky) is a fine example of a novella: the story is too involved to be restricted to a short story, but just large enough for a novella.… Continue reading

English is Not a Magic Language by Jacques Poulin

This small treasure of a book (130 pages) was first published in French in 2009, and Véhicule Press has had it translated (by Sheila Fischman) and released it as English is Not a Magic Language under their Esplanade Books fiction imprint. It is the story of two brothers, Jack, the elder brother and Francis the younger one. In between the two is their sister (who goes unnamed, but Francis refers to her as “Little Sister” even though she is a little older than him).… Continue reading

Gambling with Fire by David Montrose

Ricochet Books is a series of vintage noir mysteries from Véhicule Press of Montreal, QC. Gambling with Fire is their latest release and the fourth novel written by New Brunswick-born David Montrose,the pen name of Charles Ross Graham (1920-1968). Originally released in 1968, Graham had passed away only a few months previously.

Montreal, Post-WWII

The setting is Montreal just after the end of the second world war.… Continue reading

Brothers by David Clerson

QC Fiction has released another translation (this time by Katia Grubisic) of a Quebec novel entitled Brothers by David Clerson. This novel (under its French title Frères) won the Grand prix littéraire Archambault 2014. The other two QC Fiction novels, Life in the Court of Matane and The Unknown Huntsman were exceptional in their content, very diverse and humorous in an off-beat way. Brothers is certainly no exception.… Continue reading