The latest work in internationally acclaimed author Marie-Claire Blais’s masterful novel cycle, A Twilight Celebration examines the prophetic side of the writer and the burden that falls to him in a world whose fate is yet to be determined.
Daniel, a middle-aged novelist and loving father alienated from one of his sons and unsure how to care for his daughter, is on his way to an international conference of writers. The gathering is to be held in the forest above a mountain village of a strangely dreamlike nature. In the twilight of the festival’s setting, dreams, memories, nightmares, and dark forebodings meld in Daniel’s unsettled but deeply sympathetic consciousness: He is haunted by pressing existential questions: What is to be done? What are his responsibilities as a father, as a friend — and as a writer? As Daniel confronts his own vanities, as he recalls the activism but also the disappointments and betrayals of friends and colleagues — as he contends with, above all, the fears and aspirations of his children in times marred by apocalypse, he asks, ultimately, what can be done?
In what may well be the most beautiful and disturbing of her novels, Marie-Claire Blais leads us on a heady, spellbinding journey through an interconnected world in which the artist strives to divert humankind’s headlong rush towards a terrible destiny. Here is a world in which friends and strangers, the living, the dead and those not yet born, are inextricably bonded by their often flawed but always splendid humanity. Yet again, Blais captivates with her urgent concerns, irrepressible empathy, and singular idiom: A Twilight Celebration is an astonishing literary accomplishment.
About the authors
Marie-Claire Blais is a defining figure in Canada&146;s literary landscape, with over 30 books to her credit, including La Belle Bete (Mad Shadows), published when she was twenty, Une Saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel (A Season in the Life of Emmanuel), which is now taught regularly in university and college courses, and Soifs (These Festive Nights), which won the Governor General's Award in 1996.
Nigel Spencer's work includes acting, directing, teaching, educational research and training, journalism, subtitling and co-scripting films, as well as script-doctoring.
He taught the first bilingual graduate course on Comparative Canadian Dramaturgy (l'Université de Sherbrooke), and a performance-based course on Shakespeare at the State University of New York (Plattsburgh).
He has published six books of translated work by Marie-Claire Blais, including Thunder and Light, Augustino and the Choir of Destruction, and Mai at the Predators' Ball, which earned him three Governor General's Literary Awards for Translation.
His theatre translations include three plays by Evelyne de la Chenelière, one of which, September, will be produced by Canadian Stage in Toronto in 2020.
Other titles by Marie-Claire Blais
Other titles by Nigel Spencer
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