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Fiction Literary

Around Her

by (author) Sophie Bienvenu

translated by Rhonda Mullins

Publisher
Talonbooks
Initial publish date
Sep 2018
Category
Literary, Contemporary Women, Coming of Age
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781772012095
    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price
    $19.95

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Description

Heartily sincere, human, and compassionate, Around Her is a multifaceted novel that explores, through the words and reflections of a large community of characters, the bonds that unite us, and love in all of its manifestations – the love that one finds, that one loses, destroys, desires, or recovers.

In the mid-1990s, a sixteen-year-old girl, secretive and vulnerable, gives birth to a healthy boy in the anonymity of a Montreal hospital. She gives him up for adoption – a parting that will affect, perhaps even govern and determine, all successive stages of her adult life.

Around Her traces twenty years of the lives of Florence Gaudreault and her estranged son Adrien through the prism of twenty characters who have crossed their paths and who, each in turn and with their own unique voice, tell their story.

Patiently assembling disparate points of view, those of the young, the old, the families, the couples, or the lonely souls, this novel, replete with emotive twists and turns, probes the failures and hopes of a whole segment of society, revealing the proximity of past traumas.
Around Her is a highly emotional book, written with stylistic virtuosity, and populated with a complex kaleidoscope of voices. Author Sophie Bienvenu has a tangible gift for portraying real-life, contrasting characters, and revealing their idiosyncratic and evolving streams of consciousness. Around Her is Bienvenu’s fiction at its best, rigorously authentic, wholeheartedly humane, and delightfully vulnerable.

About the authors

Sophie Bienvenu was born in Belgium. After studying visual communication in Paris, she moved to Quebec in 2001 and quickly established herself as a successful blogger. Her first novel, Et au pire, on se mariera (2011), was adapted into a film by the same name in 2017, and translated into English as Worst Case, We Get Married (Book*hug, 2019). She is also the author of two other novels, Chercher Sam (2014), and Autour d'elle (2016), and the poetry collection, Ceci n'est pas de l'amour (2016). She has also written books for children and teens, including the popular YA series, (k). Bienvenu lives in Montreal.

Sophie Bienvenu's profile page

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montréal. She received the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Twenty-One Cardinals, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Les héritiers 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 Élise Turcotte’s Guyana and Hervé Fischer’s The Decline of the Hollywood Empire.

Rhonda Mullins' profile page

Excerpt: Around Her (by (author) Sophie Bienvenu; translated by Rhonda Mullins)

Sophie Bienvenu is a Québécois writer. After studying visual communication in Paris, she settled in Quebec in 2001 and quickly established herself as a successful blogger. Et au pire, on se mariera (La Mèche) her first novel, was followed by Chercher Sam (translation forthcoming from Talonbooks, 2019), and Autour d’elle, translated as Around Her by Rhonda Mullins (Talonbooks, 2018). Ceci n’est pas de l’amour (This Is Not Love) was her first poetry collection, published in 2016 by Poètes de brousse. Bienvenu’s writing takes its readers on an emotional journey, an intense exploration of profoundly human characters, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Other titles by Sophie Bienvenu

Other titles by Rhonda Mullins