Friday, August 13, 2010

Les écrivains québecois!

My Québecois friend Jean François Tessier (whom I met in Reykjavik and hung out with in Paris) has recommended a few books for me for when I finally get to his homeland. (I don't think he's secessionist, but I figure that French Canadian lit is radically different from English Canadian stuff.)

Here's a top 5 list of worthwhile authors from Québec. As far as I know, their work has been translated into English.

1. Michel Tremblay. Playwright and novelist. Best known.
2. Hubert Aquin. Novelist. Try to find "Prochain Episode".
3. Dany Laferrière. Québec-based Haitian novelist. "Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer".
4. Anne Hébert. Poetess and novelist. Look for "Kamouraska".
5. Gaston Miron. Poet. Miron described our condition as a people the best. His major work is called "L'homme rapaillé".

I feel bad though because litterature is the ONE thing in this country over which it is completely unfair to get all nationalist and flag-waving. English-Canada in my opinion has a top top top quality litterature. Anything published by "The New Canadian Library" is worthwhile.

So, even though politics has no place on your blog, my advice to you is to simply treat Québec as a country on its own and read a book from each place.

:) Hope it helps. Keep it up, it's a great project and you do it really well.

I'm actually reading Laferrière for Haiti, cos I got to meet him at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. He actually gave me a book, 'cos I was the one of the few guys at the party who could speak broken French to him while he was still jetlagged. Nice.

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