A woman has her cat euthanized, a decision that causes her to become aware of her ability to kill. She writes, hand haunted by history, and returns to the forgotten memory of the time when her ancestors were animals. By writing, she tries to understand the psyche and its obvious manifestations of cruelty, which she sees every day in the media: rapes, murders, bombings of civilians, indifference towards the powerless, humans and animals that are made to suffer without remorse. This book is a cry provoked by existential questions: how to deal with the wickedness in the world, how to see one's own wickedness without sinking into despair. By writing, by openness to others, by compassion, she seems to be able to face life believing that, if she recognizes the presence of evil both in her and in the world, she will be able to respond by standing among the living.
About the authors
Louise Dupre is the author of numerous books and was twice nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry. Her novel La Memoria (1996) won two major literary prizes. La Voie lactee (The Milky Way), her most recent book, was nominated for the 2001 Prix France-Quebec. Louise Dupre teaches literature and creative writing at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal.
Liedewy Hawke's translation Hopes and Dreams: The Diary of Henriette Dessaulles, 1874-1881 won the 1986 Canada Council Prize for Translation (now the Governor General's Award for Translation). Her other translations include Memoria (Louise Dupre's La memoria), published by Simon & Pierre in 1999, and House of Sighs, a translation of Jocelyne Saucier's La vie comme une image, published by Mercury Press in 2001.
Donald Winkler was born in Winnipeg, graduated from the University of Manitoba, and did graduate study at the Yale School of Drama. From 1967 to 1995 he was a film director and writer at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, and since the 1980s, a translator of Quebec literature. In 1994, 2011, and 2013 he won the Governor General Award for French to English translation, and has been a finalist for the prize on three other occasions. His translation of Samuel Archibald's short story collection, "Arvida," was a finalist for the 2015 Giller Prize. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.