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Fiction Literary

The Longest Year

by (author) Daniel Grenier

translated by Pablo Strauss

Publisher
House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
Mar 2017
Category
Literary, Sagas, Magical Realism
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781487001537
    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price
    $22.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781487001544
    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price
    $11.99
  • Downloadable audio file

    ISBN
    9781487005634
    Publish Date
    Feb 2019
    List Price
    $34.99
  • Downloadable audio file

    ISBN
    9781487005641
    Publish Date
    Feb 2019
    List Price
    $34.99

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Description

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” meets Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in Daniel Grenier’s epic novel, which tells the story of a boy who ages only one out of every four years.

There’s something extraordinary about Thomas Langlois.

Thomas is a young boy growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with a French-Canadian father, Albert, and an American mother, Laura. But beyond the fact that he lives between two cultures and languages, there’s something else about Thomas that sets him apart: he was born on February 29.

Before Albert goes on a strange quest to find out more about their mysterious relative, Aimé Bolduc, he explains to Thomas that he will only age one year out of every four and he will outlive all of his loved ones.

Thomas’s loneliness grows and the years pass until a terrible accident involving a young girl sets in motion a series of events that link the young girl and Thomas to Aimé Bolduc — a Civil War–era soldier and perhaps their contemporary.

Spanning three centuries and set against the backdrop of the Appalachians from Quebec to Tennessee, The Longest Year is a magical and poignant story about family history, fateful dates, fragile destinies, and lives brutally ended and mysteriously extended.

About the authors

DANIEL GRENIER was born in Brossard, Quebec, in 1980. His debut short story collection, Malgré tout on rit à Saint-Henri was published in 2012, and he has published French translations of Anna Leventhal’s Sweet Affliction, Arjun Basu’s Waiting for the Man, and a translation of Mireille Silcoff’s Chez L’arabe is forthcoming. The Longest Year, his first novel, won the Prix littéraire des collégiens and was a finalist for the Prix des libraires, and the Prix littéraire France-Québec. He lives in Quebec City.

Daniel Grenier's profile page

Pablo Strauss’s previous translations for Coach House Books are The Country Will Bring Us No Peace, The Supreme Orchestra, and Baloney. He is a two-time finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for translation, for Synapses (2019) and The Longest Year (2017). Pablo grew up in Victoria, B.C., and has lived in Quebec City for fifteen years.

Pablo Strauss' profile page

Awards

  • Long-listed, Prix des libraires
  • Winner, Prix littéraire des collégiens
  • Long-listed, Prix littéraire France-Québec

Editorial Reviews

A solid work . . . magical.

La Presse

Last year, Catherine Leroux’s The Party Wall arrived like a revelation: a French-Canadian novel with a continent-sized imagination, about connections between people over borders and across time. . . . [I]n The Longest Year Grenier engages a similar continental imaginary. The novel’s magic realist conceit — that a person born on Feb. 29 might age one year for every four — allows an epic swath of history with sweeping geography to match.

The Globe and Mail

Ambitious. An epic with dense, controlled writing. Large in scope yet intimate . . . A tour de force that takes us across centuries, past frontiers . . . and doesn’t hesitate to flirt with fantasy.

Le Devoir

[M]agical . . . spectacular . . . Grenier’s magnum opus . . . The Longest Year is the kind of book you want to tell people about. [Strauss] has masterfully translated L’année la plus longue, Grenier’s genre-volt-face, into The Longest Year — a year so good I wouldn’t mind living it a few times over myself, this novel’s plot begging for another crack.

The National Post

Historical fiction at its finest ... full of wit, whimsy, and a wellspring of historical detail

Montreal Review of Books

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