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Fiction Coming Of Age

Neighbourhood Watch

by (author) Anais Barbeau-Lavalette

translated by Rhonda Mullins

Publisher
Coach House Books
Initial publish date
Nov 2020
Category
Coming of Age, Family Life, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781552454176
    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price
    $20.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781770566538
    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price
    $11.99

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Description

The lives of three families intersect in the hallways of an apartment block in a Montreal neighborhood.

Mélissa, Roxane, and Kevin have never had it easy. As their parents face their own struggles – with addiction, unemployment, and abuse – they must learn to fend for themselves. Though their lives converge at school, on the street, at the corner store, or when they can hear each other through their apartments’ thin walls, they each feel deeply alone. Neighbourhood Watch tells their coming-of-age stories with a cinematic ease, moving between despair and the unalterable hope of childhood.

With her characteristic poetic flair and generosity, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, author of the acclaimed Suzanne, has painted, in brief strokes, an unforgettable and moving portrait of a fictional apartment block in Montreal.

This translation of her 2010 debut novel is presented with an afterword interview with a woman who, as a child, was the inspiration behind the character of Roxane.

‘This is prose to lose yourself in. Never complicated, it’s gentle like a love song, comforting and enveloping like a black-and-white film, full of tones and textures. These sentences can destroy us. Not for their simplicity, but for the powerful beauty within the simplicity.’ —Peter McCambridge, ‘Best Translated Book Award: Why This Book Should Win,’ on Suzanne

About the authors

Born in 1979, and named an Artist for Peace in 2012, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette has directed several award-winning documentary features. She also directed two fiction features: Le Ring (2008), Inch'allah (2012, which received the Fipresci Prize in Berlin). She is the author of the travelogue Embrasser Yasser Arafat (2011) and the novels Je voudrais qu'on m'efface (2010) and Le femme qui fuit (Prix des libraires du Québec, Prix France-Québec, Prix de la ville de Montréal), garnering both critical and popular success. 

Anais Barbeau-Lavalette'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

Editorial Reviews

“Barbeau-Lavalette takes on a naive and charming tone without a trace of miserabilism.” —Voir Montréal

“You’ll recognize in this novel scenes from The Ring. The idea for this book was born long before.… After the film, she wanted to pursue their stories, without the heaviness of film.… The narration borrows the point of view and the crude and sometimes awkward language of the characters.” —La Presse

Other titles by Anais Barbeau-Lavalette

Other titles by Rhonda Mullins