Rosa’s Very Own Personal Revolution by Eric Dupont, translated by Peter McCambridge

Eric Dupont seems to have his own distinct writing style. Like Songs for the Cold of HeartRosa–while not quite as epic–is whimsical and entertaining.

Rosa grows up in a small village on the Gaspé Peninsula – isolated enough to have developed their own unique dialect. (“In the village, pronouncing one’s Ks was associated with Montreal, and therefore with treachery and perdition.”) The village’s favourite sport is Scrabble, and the town is known for its source of Boredom (marketed worldwide). In fact, it is this Boredom that leads to Rosa’s decision to leave the village. The west wind that always blows stops blowing, causing Boredom to leak into villagers’ open windows and kill them. Rosa travels to Montreal, determined to find the west wind and bring it home again.

In Montreal, Rosa gets a job as night receptionist at a shady motel and befriends many of the women who cross its threshold. Completely innocent, at first, to the nature of the women’s work, once she learns what it is that they do, it doesn’t much matter to her – they are already friends. She also becomes friends with the three other women in her boarding house, and they bond over the strange relationship they have with their landlady – a woman who is entirely too controlling over the schedule and activities of her boarders.

The many absurdities in this book make it fun and unpredictable, but it’s Rosa’s innocence and altruistic nature that draw you in. Rosa goes to Montreal to find the wind and ends up finding herself.

Eric Dupont was born in Amqui, Quebec, in 1970. He left his native Gaspé Peninsula at age 16 for Austria and other faraway locales, returning to Quebec in 2003 to accept a position as a lecturer in translation at the McGill University School of Continuing Studies. His fourth novel, La Fiancée américaine, released in 2012, won the Prix des libraires du Québec and the Prix littéraire des collégiens. Its English translation by Peter McCambridge, Songs for the Cold of Heart, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2018 and subsequently published by HarperVia, outside of Canada, under the title The American Fiancée. One of the hallmarks of Eric’s writing is the juxtaposition of the supernatural and real worlds. The lighthearted tone of his work often belies undercurrents of deeper themes and meanings.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ QC Fiction; 1st edition (Sept. 1 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 264 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1771862882
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1771862882

 -- Website

Naomi MacKinnon is a mother, daughter, wife, sister, friend, pet-lover, reader, walker, camper, and Nova Scotian. Naomi has contributed several guest reviews over the years to The Miramichi Reader. Her book review blog is Consumed By Ink.