Suzanne (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Told in the second person, this is a moving portrait of complicated motherhood and personhood that looks openly at the choices we make and how they stay with us forever. - Cari, Book Culture Selects letter, Literature in Translation, November 2017

— From Winter with Book Culture Selects

Description


Anais Barbeau-Lavalette never knew her mother's mother. Curious to understand why her grandmother, Suzanne, a sometime painter and poet associated with Les Automatistes, a movement of dissident artists that included Paul-Emile Borduas, abandoned her husband and young family, Barbeau-Lavalette hired a private detective to piece together Suzanne's life.

Suzanne, winner of the Prix des libraires du Quebec and a bestseller in French, is a fictionalized account of Suzanne's life over eighty-five years, from Montreal to New York to Brussels, from lover to lover, through an abortion, alcoholism, Buddhism, and an asylum. It takes readers through the Great Depression, Quebec's Quiet Revolution, women's liberation, and the American civil rights movement, offering a portrait of a volatile, fascinating woman on the margins of history. And it's a granddaughter's search for a past for herself, for understanding and forgiveness.

'It's about a nameless despair, an unbearable sadness. But it's also a reflection on what it means to be a mother, and an artist. Most of all, it's a magnificent novel.'

- Les Meconnus

Anais Barbeau-Lavalette is a Montreal-based author and director. She was named the 2012 Artist for Peace by the social justice organization Les Artistes Pour la Paix.

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal. She received the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Twenty-One Cardinals, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Les heritiers de la mine.


About the Author


Anais Barbeau-Lavalette: Anais Barbeau-Lavalette is a Montreal-based author and director. She was named 2012 Artist for Peace by the social justice organization Les Artistes Pour la Paix. In 2016, her novel La Femme Qui Fuit (The Escape Artist) won the Prix des libraires du Quebec.Rhonda Mullins: Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal. She received the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Twenty-One Cardinals, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Les heritiers de la mine. And the Birds Rained Down, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was a CBC Canada Reads Selection. It was also shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award, as were her translations of Elise Turcotte's Guyana and Herve Fischer's The Decline of the Hollywood Empire.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781552453476
ISBN-10: 1552453472
Publisher: Coach House Books
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Pages: 264
Language: English