About the Author

Susan Ouriou

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.

Books by this Author
Damselfish

Damselfish

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Beyond Words

Beyond Words

Translating the World
edited by Susan Ouriou
edition:Paperback
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Languages of Our Land/Langues de notre terre

Languages of Our Land/Langues de notre terre

Indigenous Poems and Stories from Quebec/Poèmes et récits autochtones du Québec
edited by Susan Ouriou
translated by Christelle Morelli
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Against God

Against God

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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Emily's Piano

Emily's Piano

by Charlotte Gingras
illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
translated by Susan Ouriou
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
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Hunting Houses
Excerpt

Évelyne is crying in earnest now. I take her hand. I say yes, her house is fabulous. I myself would buy it if I could. It will make some family very happy just as hers was for several years.

My client nods, I know she finds the idea comforting — all my clients do. There must be some solace in thinking your house will go on living apart from you, like an extension, a promise renewed no matter the hardships or failures, bestowing sudden meaning on sorrow. Personally, it's all a mystery to me since I have no desire to see others blossom where I once withered away — but then I'm not a very nice person.

Évelyne shows me the rest of her house: two children's bedrooms. In the first room, a cream-coloured quilt in a delicate pattern of pink and pale-green buttercups and peonies. A number of lively drawings on the walls, all signed SOLENE. In the second bedroom, blue and green stripes, dinosaur figurines, wood letters painted red hanging on the door: MATTEO. Évelyne was astute enough to keep the walls white. It won't be as difficult for potential buyers to project their own lives onto them — nothing is less helpful than a pink bedroom covered in princess decals for the morale of a mother with two sons who longs for the daughter she never had and hopes to find in her new abode the secret formula that will at last guarantee her the perfect family she's dreamt of since childhood. I respond to the client with all the solicitude I can muster, Who knows, this house could be a lucky charm, but when, guilt-ridden at having downplayed the worth of the children she does have, she grabs hold of my arm, My boys are wonderful, I love them so much, after all, what counts is that they're healthy, no? Do you have children? and I answer, Yes, three boys, for the space of a second, she's caught between wanting to be me and relief that she isn't. Her coral lips give the faintest, saddest smile ever smiled and she murmurs: Three boys. That's quite something, isn't it.

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Jane, the Fox and Me

Jane, the Fox and Me

edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
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La Malinche

La Malinche

The Princess Who Helped Cortés Conquer the Aztec Empire
by Francisco Serrano
translated by Susan Ouriou
illustrated by Pablo Serrano
edition:Hardcover
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Millions for a Song

Millions for a Song

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : music
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Ophelia
Excerpt

Actually, there’s something I have to tell you. Last spring, I went with the other grade nine classes to see a Shakespeare play. Even if I didn’t really get the whole story and all its battles, violence, cries and tragic destinies, from the very start I liked the sad prince and his fiancée, driven crazy by love, who drowned herself in the river. Her name was Ophelia, an incredibly gentle name, don’t you think? She looked as though she were asleep on the riverbed, so beautiful in her wet gown clinging to her body and her hair like golden seaweed. Ever since, I’ve taken her name in secret. You’re the first to know.

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Sandbar

Sandbar

edition:Paperback
tagged :
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Taming Horrible Harry

Taming Horrible Harry

by Lili Chartrand
translated by Susan Ouriou
illustrated by Rogé
edition:Hardcover
tagged :
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The Body of the Beasts
Excerpt

A wharf jutting out into the open sea. Waves rumble below, foam spouts from cracks between the planks. Men angle for tuna and stingrays. They cast their lines from the platform at the far end of the jetty, where the water is already deep, and wrest huge creatures from the sea that drench them in salt water as they writhe in mid-air and then again on the pier’s wooden planking. A warm breeze blows in from the interior and whips the clothing of passersby against their bodies and roars in their ears. Perched on the guardrails or on the backs of benches, children eat ice cream that trickles between their fingers and onto their bare bellies. The heat of the beach is like no other, worn like a piece of clothing.

So different from the others in their long shirts, the Borya brothers serve as their mother’s bodyguards. She holds the youngest on her hip and strides toward the fishermen, her skirts billowing around her legs. Three coins jangle in her pocket and their clinking combines with the clacking of her heels against the wharf. The biggest fish require tough bargaining, so the boys’ father sent his wife. He told her to wear her grey dress, the one with the low-cut square neck that shows off her breasts, plump with milk. She makes her way toward the men, her attempt at sensuality somewhat hindered by the presence of her sons. The eldest walks in front of her, pushing a wheelbarrow three times his weight to transport the animal once the deal has been made. The younger two run to keep up with their mother’s swaying gait. As for her, she sees only the huge fish hanging mid-wharf, the fishermen’s sturdy bodies, the blue water and the light sparkling on its surface.

Osip Borya, chasing a salamander, has stayed behind. By the time he loses the tiny creature in the tall grasses, his mother and brothers have left. He can’t see them anywhere. Immediately overhead, seagulls wheel like sparrow hawks. A pelican swoops toward the beach, throat stretched taut with its catch, and lands on a post right next to the boy. The bird is still dripping from its plunge into the water. It looks at the child, throws its skull back and, swallowing its prey in one majestic gulp, unfurls its wings. At that exact moment, several things occur. First, the pelican lifts off and returns to its position on the waves. Then, watching the seabird, Osip spies his mother at the end of the wharf and notices a tiny movement she makes: as her right foot lifts out of its shoe, she reaches down to brush sand off the sole of her foot. Just behind her, a fisherman lets out a shout and hauls from the water a five-foot-long swordfish thrashing around like a demon. Three men harpoon it to sap the creature’s strength.

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The Fat Princess

The Fat Princess

International Star
by Mario Girard
translated by Susan Ouriou
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : humorous
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The Sandbar

The Sandbar

edition:eBook
tagged :
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