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Fiction Native American & Aboriginal

Winter Child

by (author) Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau

translated by Susan Ouriou & Christelle Morelli

Publisher
Freehand Books
Initial publish date
May 2017
Category
Native American & Aboriginal, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781988298061
    Publish Date
    May 2017
    List Price
    $21.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781988298078
    Publish Date
    May 2017
    List Price
    $10.99

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Description

A visceral, luminous novel about a Métis woman tracing the life and death of her son.

One late September day, amid the year's first snowfall, the winter child is born. He does not breathe. His mother watches helplessly until "at last the baby uttered a first tentative croak like a frog unsure of spring's arrival."

Then again, and again, and again, the winter child narrowly avoids death's reach. But his mother knows: "he would be her wound, she would have to battle to keep him with her, to defend him against the worst of all enemies."

Originally published in French and told through alternating and overlapping memories, Winter Child is a powerful meditation on grief and life. With a poet and storyteller's language, Virgina Pésémapéo Bordeleau traces a mother's journey from devastation to strength, descending to the darkest inner depths, and finally finding the generosity of life and love.

About the authors

Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau is an internationally recognized painter and writer of Cree and Algonquin origin. She has published three novels and a poetry collection in French. She lives in Abitibi, in northwest Quebec.

Susan Ouriou and Christelle Morelli have co-translated 14 fiction, non-fiction, and children's books. Ouriou was awarded the Governor General's Award for Literary Translation in 2009. Ouriou and Morelli both live in Calgary.

Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau'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

Christelle Morelli is a French-English literary translator and teacher in the Francophone school system. She has translated the anthology Languages of Our Land: Indigenous Poems and Stories from Quebec and the children’s book Blanche Hates the Night. She has also co-translated 15 fiction, non-fiction and children’s books with Susan Ouriou. Her French to English co-translations other than Winter Child are: Against God, Sand Bar, Jane, the Fox and Me, Millions for a Song, Once Upon a Rainy Day, Stolen Sisters, Louis Undercover and Hunting Houses. Her English to French co-translation titles are: La toute dernière première fois, Chin Chiang et la danse du dragon, Lune jaune, à bientôt, Le chandail d’Amos, Une musique du ciel, Leçons de la Mère-Terre and Un saumon pour Simon. Her co-translation with Susan Ouriou, Stolen Sisters, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Translation in 2015.

Christelle Morelli's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Both raw and poetic, Pésémapéo Bordeleau's novel is ultimately about healing and continuance, through dreams, ceremony and the partner who is meant for the time." - Globe and Mail

"Susan Ouriou and Christelle Morelli's translation of the French original blends romantic turns of phrase with the transformative storytelling power of Pésémapéo Bordeleau's Cree and Métis ancestors... Winter Child is a collection of narratives about complex relationality, death, loss, and moving through grief, despite it all. Though the mother has experienced unspeakable abuse and trauma, she continues, and with love to boot. Pésémapéo Bordeleau has woven together an exercise in sitting with and moving through pain." - Montreal Review of Books

"Both raw and poetic, Pésémapéo Bordeleau's novel is ultimately about healing and continuance, through dreams, ceremony and the partner who is meant for the time." — Globe and Mail

"Susan Ouriou and Christelle Morelli's translation of the French original blends romantic turns of phrase with the transformative storytelling power of Pésémapéo Bordeleau's Cree and Métis ancestors? Winter Child is a collection of narratives about complex relationality, death, loss, and moving through grief, despite it all. Though the mother has experienced unspeakable abuse and trauma, she continues, and with love to boot. Pésémapéo Bordeleau has woven together an exercise in sitting with and moving through pain." — Montreal Review of Books

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Other titles by Christelle Morelli

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