Emily Dickinson is as famous for being a recluse as she is for her poetry. In this stunning novel, we see her struggling to reconcile spirit and flesh, preferring letters and reflecting that the only way to have books and life is to live through one’s own writing. Dominique Fortier brings Dickinson vividly to life, as if reanimating a flower that had been pressed in a book, through her reflections on language and what it feels like to be home.
About the authors
Dominique Fortier is an editor and translator living in Outremont, Quebec. Her first novel, Du bon usage des étoiles (2008), was nominated for a Governor General's Award and the Prix des Libraires du Québec, and Au péril de la mer won the Governor General's Award for French fiction. She is the author of five books, four of which have been translated into English: On the Proper Use of Stars, Wonder, The Island of Books, and Paper Houses.
Rhonda Mullins is a Montreal-based translator who has translated many books from French into English, including Jocelyne Saucier’s And Miles To Go Before I Sleep, Grégoire Courtois’ The Laws of the Skies, Dominique Fortier’s Paper Houses, and Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s Suzanne. She is a seven-time finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation, winning the award in 2015 for her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals. Novels she has translated were contenders for CBC Canada Reads in 2015 and 2019 and one was a finalist for the 2018 Best Translated Book Award. Mullins was the inaugural literary translator in residence at Concordia University in 2018. She is a mentor to emerging translators in the Banff International Literary Translation Program.
'An exquisite fictional imagining of Dickinson’s life'
Sue Carter, The Star
'In Paper Houses, anecdotes from the lauded American poet’s childhood and adult life are expanded into a chronological series of vignettes featuring truly Dickinsonian details'
Carly Vandergriendt, Quill & Quire
‘Its language is luminous, precise; its structure, ambitious.’