Both touchingly comical and extremely provocative, this novel deals with ennui in Quebec and the intellectual alienation of a disenchanted hero, Hervé Jodoin. Jodoin has come to Saint Joachim to work in the town’s only bookstore. The proprietor, Léon Chicoine, is a seemingly respectable man who claims to be the secret agent of free thought and liberty, keeping a collection of books for specific customers only. However, when Jodoin sells a book by a well-known, subversive author, the resulting crisis within the town involves not only Chicoine, but also the town priest and our hero’s lonely landlady. This revised edition contains both English and French versions of the critical bibliography, a list of related readings, and chapter-by-chapter questions for discussion and essays.
About the authors
Gérard Bessette was a noted French Canadian author and a former professor at the Royal Military College and Queen’s University in Canada. His work includes the award-winning The Cycle and Incubation. He was the recipient of the Governor General’s Award and the Prix David. Steven Urquhart is a translator, the executor of the Gérard Bessette estate, and an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.