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Fiction Native American & Aboriginal


by (author) Naomi Fontaine

translated by Luise Flotow

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
Native American & Aboriginal, Small Town & Rural, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price

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In Naomi Fontaine’s Governor General’s Literary Award finalist, a young teacher’s return to her remote Innu community transforms the lives of her students, reminding us of the importance of hope in the face of despair.

After fifteen years of exile, Yammie, a young Innu woman, has come back to her home in Uashat, on Quebec’s North Shore. She has returned to teach at the local school but finds a community stalked by despair. Yammie will do anything to help her students. When she accepts a position directing the end-of-year play, she sees an opportunity for the youth to take charge of themselves.

In writing both spare and polyphonic, Naomi Fontaine honestly portrays a year of Yammie’s teaching and of the lives of her students, dislocated, embattled, and ultimately, possibly, triumphant.

About the authors

NAOMI FONTAINE is a member of the Innu Nation of Uashat and a graduate of the Université de Laval. Her first novel, Kuessipan, was made into a feature film that debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019. Manikanetish was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards and ICI-Radio Canada’s “Combat des livres.”


Naomi Fontaine's profile page

LUISE VON FLOTOW is a translator of French and German literature. Her novel translations include La femme du stalinien, Une belle éducation,and L’hôtel aux quatre chemins by France Théoret, and she also edited the essay collection Translating Women: Different Voices and New Horizons. She is a professor at the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa.


Luise Flotow's profile page


  • Short-listed, ICI-Radio Canada Combat des livres
  • Short-listed, Geneva Book Fair Audience Award
  • Short-listed, Governor General’s Literary Award

Editorial Reviews

A story of lived experience in which serene language and sensitively drawn images come together in short chapters like a succession of small touches of paint on a canvas.

Le Devoir

Here is a novel of courage, of surpassing oneself, and of resilience. This is a profoundly moving, human, beautiful book.

ICI-Radio Canada

Naomi Fontaine leads us to discover students who are sometimes endearing and sometimes disturbing, but always does so with poetry.


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