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list price: $22.95
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Jul 2007
ISBN:9781553652724
publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Secret Between Us, A

by Daniel Poliquin, translated by Don Winkler

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literary, historical
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $22.95
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Jul 2007
ISBN:9781553652724
publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
Description

When young Lusignan sets off from Ottawa to the First World War with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, he has already survived a tragicomic Catholic childhood and a writing career that has brought him both acclaim and disgrace. Shortly before the men depart for Europe, Lusignan has an encounter with a fellow officer, the aristocratic Essiambre d'Argenteuil, that proves to be the defining moment of his life.

Returning from Europe a hollow man, Lusignan keeps the memory alive by shadowing Amalia Driscoll, a woman whose strait-laced proprieties were challenged by this same d'Argenteuil. He encounters Concorde, the untutored young maid struggling to get by in the Flats district of Ottawa, and the Capuchin monk Father Mathrun, who longs for martyrdom in a foreign land. Providing the backdrop to Poliquin's incisive character study is a vivid evocation of a pivotal era in Canadian history.

About the Authors
Daniel Poliquin is one of Canada's leading French writers. His novels and translations have won or been shortlisted for several major awards, including the Governor General's Award, the Grand prix du Journal de Montréal, the Prix littéraire Le Droit, the Trillium Book Award, and the Giller Prize. He is also a Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et lettres and a Member of the Order of Canada. He lives in Ottawa.
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Since the 1980s, in addition to his work as a filmmaker, Don Winkler has translated numerous works of Quebec literature into English. In 1994, he won the Governor General’s Award for French to English translation for The Lyric Generation: The Life and Times of the Baby Boomers (La Génération lyrique) by François Ricard, and he has been a finalist for the prize on two other occasions. Winkler’s translation of La Kermesse (A Secret Between Us), Daniel Poliquin’s latest novel, was short-listed for the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Donald Winkler lives in Montreal.
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Awards
  • , Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Short-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
Editorial Reviews

"[Poliquin's] Ottawa, viewed in all its uptight glory from the skewed and skewering perspective of a charismatic Franco-Ontarian outsider, charlatan and gigolo manque, is a welcome and fitting satire of a time and place that, in our literature, is often read as lofty and aloof."

— Ottawa Citizen

"Poliquin's A Secret Between Us deals with the way a war and its aftermath is experienced in a unique cultural setting, where ethnicities intermingle against a complex historical background. It is rendered in prose that blends hyperrealism with kinetic lyricism...A Secret Between Us is world class."

— Books in Canada

"A Secret Between Us is funny. It is the first-person narration of a robust French Catholic named Lusignan...How can we not love Lusignan? He falls from grace in the military without the slightest care, he pursues one woman while sleeping with another. He drinks, he lets his emotional wounds fester rather than tend them. He is so corporeal, so human, we know him from the first sentence: 'I am the flesh made word.' Indeed."

— Globe & Mail

"The devil is in the details, where he rightly belongs...A Secret Between Us is a welcome contrast to the vast library of earnest self-important historical novels about great Canadians and their important deeds."

— Vancouver Sun

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