Memoria tells the seemingly ordinary story of a woman overwhelmed by grief when her lover abandons her. The loss opens an old wound: some 20 years ago Emma’s teenage sister vanished without a trace. Soon Emma will meet another man, but the return to joy is painfully slow. Rarely has the loss of love, as well as the subtle dislocation of a family hit by tragedy, been evoked more poignantly than in this luminous novel. In Memoria’s multi-layered narrative, the reader is irresistibly drawn into the slow reconstruction of Emma’s outer and inner world, a world of dizzying sensuality, deep sadness, bewitchingly beautiful images, and, ultimately, "the small circle of new beginnings."
Louise Dupré is the author of eight collections of poetry. She was twice nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry. In addition, she has written a book of literary criticism. Her first novel, La memoria, published in Montreal in 1996 to critical acclaim, won the Prix de la Societe des Ecrivains canadiens (section de Montreal), as well as the Prix Ringuet awarded by the Academie des lettres du Quebec, and is now in its fourth printing. Louise Dupre teaches literature and creative writing at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, where, from 1995 to 1998, she was editor-in-chief of Voix et images, an internationally known review of Quebecois literature.
"Dupr tells her story in a rhythmic, poetic language that is beautifully rendered into English by award-winning translator Liedewy Hawke."
"No one could guess that the book had not been written in English, so natural and uncontrived is the translation of Liedwy Hawke. All the charm and delicacy of the French are preserved in this version."
"Dupr's prose works in subtle ways ... The tone is almost ingenuous, yet dotted with incisive intuitions ... Most strikingly, Dupr displays full control of the erotic as a window to the deepest parts of the psyche. Liedewy Hawke's translation is lucid and admirably invisible."
"Memoria paints a credible, at times moving, portrait of a woman coming to terms with a troubled familial past, and finally looking into the future."
"Dupr and Hawke have produced a work of art remarkable for its lyrical lucidity, discreet emotion, and gentle precision."