The Daughters’ Story by Murielle Cyr

Nadine is banished to a home for unwed mothers in 1950. She’s 15. Her baby daughter, whose father is shrouded in secrecy, is put up for adoption without her permission. Vowing to reunite one day with her daughter, she cuts all ties with her dysfunctional Irish and French-Canadian Catholic family whose past is cluttered with secrets, betrayals, incest and violence.

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

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

The Unknown Huntsman by Jean-Michel Fortier

QC Fiction will be releasing their second English language translation of a French novel in November 2016. It is entitled The Unknown Huntsman (Le chassuer inconnu) by Jean-Michel Fortier. Their first release was the excellent Life in the Court of Matane by Eric Dupont.  The Unknown Huntsman is a difficult book to describe. I was reading it at work one evening when I spontaneously chuckled out loud.… Continue reading

Life in the Court of Matane by Eric Dupont

Fiction is a new imprint of Quebec’s Baraka Books and is dedicated to releasing English translations of new and up-and-coming French Quebec writers. Life in the Court of Matane is the first release of 2016 for QC Fiction. Previously available only in French, Life in the Court of Matane (Bestiaire is the French version’s title) was one of the three finalists for the 2009 Prix Littéraire France-Québec, a literary prize awarded to French readers’ favourite Quebec novels, and was one of La Presse’s top five Quebec novels of 2008.… Continue reading