The title of Pasha Malla’s 2015 article in The New Yorker’s Page-Turner says it all: “Too Different and Too Familiar: The Challenge of French-Canadian Literature.” Because it is a challenge to locate French-Canadian literature within the landscape of Canadian Literature, even for those of us who devote a significant
If you are reading this post because you are part of the #1965Club, and you haven’t heard of Marie-Claire Blais, you are about to wonder how that can be true. (And if you also haven't heard of #1965Club, please visit Karen's and Simon's sites to learn more.) Blais has published
Language is important in “Orphans’ Progress”, specifically the relationship between English-speakers in Ontario and French-speakers in Quebec (predominantly Montreal, with a reference to Chicoutimi). It matters, immediately and lastingly, because the orphans, Cathie and Mildred, are the children of an English-Canadian man and a French-Canadian woman. Governor General's Award Winner
In “Saturday”, the mother had dreamed a different kind of life for her daughters. In “Up North”, Dennis’ mother is dreaming of a different kind of life for herself. She’s on a train, north of Montreal, heading for Abitibi, Quebec. That’s where Dennis’ father is working in the bush.
The image of the father in this story, unable to sleep, counting his sons-in-law instead of sheep, makes me smile. The way that he matches his memory of their faces with the litany of names, his uncertainty about the fifth, his debates over which of them is married to