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
Born in 1939 in Québec, Marie-Claire Blais continues to dominate the literary landscape. Having published her first novel at the age of twenty, she has gone on to publish twenty novels to date in France and Quebec—all of which have been translated into English—as well as five plays and several collections of poetry. All of her writings have met with international acclaim.Talon has published her American Notebooks, a fascinating autobiographical account of the intellectual flowering of a great writer.Winner of the Prix Médicis, the Prix Belgo-Canadien, the Prix France-Québec, and many others, Blais continues to devote herself to work that is proud and exacting. Most recently, she has been invited, as one of the very few foreigners allowed, to join Belgium’s Academy of French Language and Literature.
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.
A sublime and visionary novelist.
Journal de Québec
One of the most distinctive and original living writers of fiction.
The most ambitious thing attempted by a literary writer.
Globe and Mail
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