Translated from French by Elaine Kennedy.
Raymond Dossougbé flees the misery of his hometown in Benin and arrives in Toronto, where he is immediately charmed by it. He sees the city as a place of freedom and light, a sanctuary where he, like so many others, can begin anew. But as he becomes familiar with the city and its inhabitants, he realizes that his Afro-Caribbean roommates look like him but aren't his brothers. He discovers a free community that is mentally shackled, stuck in the past, unable and unwilling to adapt. He sees deep poverty, extreme wealth, and the consequences of police brutality. Eventually he finds his bearings in this new world and comes to a better understanding of his new self and the colourful characters around him.
Toronto je t'aime won the Prix Trillium when it first came out in 2000.
About the authors
Elaine Kennedy studied English literature, French language, and translation in North America and Europe. She has worked as a translator in the academic and cultural sectors. The 2014 3Macs carte blanche Prize co-winner and a 2019 Toronto Book Award finalist, she presently focuses on literary translation. She lives in Victoria, BC.
"Over and above its literary qualities, it's a significant book because it shows that Toronto's ethnic vitality is spreading across language lines." --Ray Conlogue, The Globe and Mail.