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Children's Fiction Emigration & Immigration

Road to Chlifa

by (author) Michèle Marineau

translated by Susan Ouriou

Red Deer Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2015
Emigration & Immigration, Coming of Age
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2015
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 17
  • Grade: 7 to 12


This hard-hitting novel won, in its original French edition:

  • The Governor General's Award,
  • The Alvine Belisle Award, and
  • The Brive / Montreal Award.

Nominee, Governor General's Literary Award for Translation (from French to English)

Karim has journeyed a long way from his home in war-torn Beirut to his new high school in Quebec. Now he must travel the difficult road to a life without war. There is contempt and racism here, too. But there is also My-Lan, a new companion in a new and challenging country. It is an adventure behind the headlines and a lesson in life you couldn't learn in the classroom.

About the authors

Michèle Marineau sait comme nulle autre allier finesse de l’écriture, profondeur d’émotion et intrigue fouillée dans une oeuvre dont la qualité a été maintes fois soulignée. Elle a remporté à deux reprises le Prix du Gouverneur général, d’abord en 1988 avec son premier roman, Cassiopée - L’Été polonais, puis en 1993 avec La Route de Chlifa, qui lui a valu la même année le prix 12/17 Brive/Montréal et le prix Alvine-Bélisle. Elle vit à Montréal.


Michèle Marineau's profile page

Susan Ouriou is an award-winning literary translator who has translated the fiction of Quebec, Latin-American, French and Spanish authors. She won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation in 2009 for Pieces of Me by Charlotte Gingras, after first being shortlisted for The Road to Chlifa by Michèle Marineau and then for Necessary Betrayals by Guillaume Vigneault. The Road to Chlifa was also awarded an honour list placing by IBBY (International Board of Books for Youth) as were Naomi and Mrs. Lumbago by Gilles Tibo, This Side of the Sky by Marie-Francine Hébert and Pieces of Me. Necessary Betrayals was also voted one of the 100 best books of 2002 by the Globe and Mail. Another translation, The Thirteenth Summer by José Luis Olaizola, was runner-up for the John Glassco Translation Prize. She has worked as the director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre and as faculty for the Banff Centre's Aboriginal Emerging Writers residency. She is the editor of the 2010 anthology Beyond Words – Translating the World.

Susan Ouriou's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A tour de force . . . the work of an accomplished writer whose work has been brought to a new audience by an equally accomplished translator."
Globe and Mail

"The climax is truly poignant and the resolution thoughtful."
Books in Canada

"Deftly portrays the cultural conflicts within the high school classroom. . . . The writing style evokes an immediate response from readers with its expressive language, clarity of word choice, and changing point of view."
International Reading Association, Newark, Delaware

"A powerful, thought-provoking story that handles discrimination, compromise, uprooting and friendship meaningfully."

Other titles by Michèle Marineau

Other titles by Susan Ouriou