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Biography & Autobiography Literary

As Always

A Memoir of a Life in Waiting

by (author) Madeleine Gagnon

translated by Phyllis Aronoff & Howard Scott

Publisher
Talonbooks
Initial publish date
May 2015
Category
Literary
  • Book

    ISBN
    9780889228962
    Publish Date
    May 2015
    List Price
    $22.95

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Description

One of Canada’s greatest literary figures reflects on life at the centre of Quebec literary arts. Re-examining the influences of her early life in a large, rural Catholic family, Madeleine Gagnon not only explores her rejection of unexamined values as part of her intellectual development but also her refusal to be categorized by her gender. Karl Marx replaced Paul Claudel in Gagnon’s intellectual pantheon. Psychoanalysis gave rise to the desire to write, and her first works poured out in a torrent. She describes the friendships that played such a large part in her life and the feminist battles of the time with all their hopes and disappointments. At the same time she casts a sharp eye on contemporary Quebec society, tracing the emergence of a distinct Canadian literature.

This is an account of a life well lived, told with candour, wisdom, and an inextinguishable sense of wonder.

About the authors

Madeleine Gagnon
Madeleine Gagnon has made a mark on Quebec literature as a poet, novelist, and non-fiction writer. Since 1969, she has published over 30 books while at the same time teaching literature in several Quebec universities.

Nancy Huston has described Madeleine Gagnon as someone in whom the boundary between inner and outer life is porous; her words are poetry and her ear for the words of others is poetry too. Everything she takes in from the world is filtered, processed, transformed by the insistent rhythms of the songs within her.

Phyllis Aronoff
Phyllis Aronoff lives in Montreal. She has a Master’s degree in English literature. The Wanderer, her translation of La Québécoite by Régine Robin, won the 1998 Jewish Book Award for fiction. She and Howard Scott were awarded the 2001 Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Award for The Great Peace of Montreal of 1701. She is currently president of the LTAC.

Howard Scott
Howard Scott is a Montreal literary translator who specializes in the genres of fiction and non-fiction. His literary translations include works by Quebec writer Madeleine Gagnon and Quebec science fiction writer Élisabeth Vonarburg. In 1997, Scott received the prestigious Governor General’s Translation Award for his work on Louky Bersianik’s The Euguelion.

Madeleine Gagnon's profile page

Phyllis Aronoff lives in Montreal. She has a Master’s degree in English literature. The Wanderer, her translation of La Québécoite by Régine Robin, won the 1998 Jewish Book Award for fiction. She and Howard Scott were awarded the 2001 Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Award for The Great Peace of Montreal of 1701. She is currently president of the LTAC.

Phyllis Aronoff's profile page

Howard Scott translates poetry, fiction and non-fiction, often with co-translator Phyllis Aronoff, including works by Madeleine Gagnon, Kim Doré and Madeleine Monette, as well as numerous scholarly works in the humanities. He has also published translations of poetry by Madeleine Gagnon, Michel Pleau and Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, and science fiction by Élisabeth Vonarburg. In 1997, he won the Governor General’s Literary Award for English translation for The Euguelion, by Louky Bersianik. He is a past president of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada.

Howard Scott's profile page

Awards

  • Short-listed, Cole Foundation Prize for Translation (Quebec Writers’ Federation Awards)

Editorial Reviews

“It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything as beautiful and luminous as this book.”
– Manon Trépanier, Radio-Canada

“A portrait of a changing Quebec. And an account of the life of a woman who, at nearly seventy-five, is examining who she has become in the light of who she has been ... little girl, sister, lover, mother, intellectual, feminist, writer. They are all present in this book.”
– Danielle Laurin, Le Devoir
“She always wanted to learn. She always wanted to write. She always wanted to fight injustice. The autobiography of Madeleine Gagnon, one of our greatest literary figures, takes us through the private life and the intellectual and artistic career of a passionately committed woman in a Quebec undergoing a major transformation … not to be missed.”
– Chantal Guy, La Presse

“A portrait of a changing Quebec. And an account of the life of a woman who, at nearly seventy-five, is examining who she has become in the light of who she has been... little girl, sister, lover, mother, intellectual, feminist, writer. They are all present in this book.”
– Danielle Laurin, Le Devoir

“She always wanted to learn. She always wanted to write. She always wanted to fight injustice. The autobiography of Madeleine Gagnon, one of our greatest literary figures, takes us through the private life and the intellectual and artistic career of a passionately committed woman in a Quebec undergoing a major transformation … not to be missed.”
– Chantal Guy, La Presse

Other titles by Madeleine Gagnon

Other titles by Phyllis Aronoff

Other titles by Howard Scott

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