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."
About the author
Louise Dupre is the author of numerous books and was twice nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry. Her novel La Memoria (1996) won two major literary prizes. La Voie lactee (The Milky Way), her most recent book, was nominated for the 2001 Prix France-Quebec. Louise Dupre teaches literature and creative writing at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal.
Liedewy Hawke's translation Hopes and Dreams: The Diary of Henriette Dessaulles, 1874-1881 won the 1986 Canada Council Prize for Translation (now the Governor General's Award for Translation). Her other translations include Memoria (Louise Dupre's La memoria), published by Simon & Pierre in 1999, and House of Sighs, a translation of Jocelyne Saucier's La vie comme une image, published by Mercury Press in 2001.
"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."
British Journal of Canadian Studies
"Dupr tells her story in a rhythmic, poetic language that is beautifully rendered into English by award-winning translator Liedewy Hawke."
The Kingston Whig-Standard
"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."
"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."