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Catherine Leroux

Forfatter af Granta 141: Canada

5+ Works 195 Members 5 Reviews

Om forfatteren

Image credit: Julie Artacho

Værker af Catherine Leroux

Granta 141: Canada (2017) — Redaktør — 58 eksemplarer
The Party Wall (2013) 53 eksemplarer
The Future (2020) 42 eksemplarer
Madame Victoria (2015) 37 eksemplarer
LA MARCHE EN FORET (2012) 5 eksemplarer

Associated Works

Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver1,283 eksemplarer
Us Conductors (2014) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver320 eksemplarer
Fabrizio's Return (2006) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver51 eksemplarer
The Wagers (2019) — Oversætter, nogle udgaver24 eksemplarer

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Land (til kort)
Rosemère, Quebec, Canada
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Priser og hædersbevisninger
John Glassco Prize for Literary Translation
Kort biografi
Catherine Leroux (born 1979 in Rosemère, Quebec) is a Canadian novelist who writes usually in French.Leroux was born in Quebec in 1979 and she took philosophy as her degree. She was the Toronto correspondent of Radio Canada.[1] She is a shortlisted nominee for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize for The Party Wall, a translation by Lazer Lederhendler of her 2013 novel Le mur mitoyen.[2]

Leroux's first novel, La marche en forêt, was published in 2011[3] and was a finalist for the 2012 Prix des libraires du Québec. Le mur mitoyen followed in 2013,[4] and was a finalist for the 2013 Grand prix du livre de Montréal and won the Prix littéraire France-Québec in 2014.[5]

She published the short story collection Madame Victoria in 2015.[6] The book won the Prix Adrienne-Choquette in 2016



This book has garnered lots of attention thanks to winning the annual Canadian book debate, Canada Reads. It probably helped that the defender was Heather O'Neill, a well-regarded Canadian writer, but it was up against some tough competition. So I was anxious to read the book when it became available from my public library.

At one point this book was referred to as being magical realism which made me twitch a little since I frequently have problems relating to books of magical realism. Fortunately, the magical elements of the story (a fairy, buildings that reconstruct after demolition, vegetables that revert to seed and so on) aren't important to the story and I enjoyed them. In this book Detroit never became part of the United States and remained a French-speaking city in Canada. But like the real Detroit it suffered from urban decay, pollution and extensive drug use. Gloria, a widow, has come to Fort Detroit to look for her grandchildren after her daughter, Judith, was murdered. Cassandra and Mathilda called in the murder but then they disappeared. Someone saw them heading to Rouge Park with full backpacks but there's been no sightin of them since. Gloria starts to get to know the people of the neighbourhood, especially her neighbour, Eunice. She finds that people help one another here which is good since the government seems to have abandoned them. Soon there is information about a band of children living in the forest in Rouge Park and Gloria reaches out to them hoping they will have news of her granddaughters. These are feral children who either are orphaned or running from abuse. They have a rough kind of community with older children looking out for the younger and everyone scrounging for food or other useful items. They don't want anything to do with the adults but when an emergency comes along some of them are sheltered and cared for by those adults. This results in a truce which will have an impact on everyone in the community.

There's a hopeful message here. Together, with good will, people can overcome adversity and find solutions. We need that kind of messaging now.
… (mere)
gypsysmom | 1 anden anmeldelse | Apr 3, 2024 |
In this speculative novel, Detroit is an independent, French-speaking entity. Urban decay has led to run down homes, few services and little employment. Children have taken refuge in the forest, banding together to secure safety and shelter. When our protagonist, Gloria, arrives following the murder of her daughter, she finds her granddaughters missing and goes into the forest to find them. This is a grim story, but there is a hopefulness in the way so many characters persevere and band together to support each other.

It's well written, and the characters are reasonably well developed. Just not my cup of tea.
… (mere)
LynnB | 1 anden anmeldelse | Feb 22, 2024 |

okay. so. this is a tricky one for me to rate. (i read this for an in-person book club i've just started attending.) there was much i liked and admired about this book, yet there were things that just didn't work for me. let me get the criticisms out of the way first:

i really had trouble with the flow of the book. granted, i managed to go into it not realizing it was connected short stories so i take ownership for that bit of dumb-dumbness. but setting that aside, this is what happened: in the very first story (heartbreaking) we are introduced to an empathetic nurse. in an unusually short amount of time, i got very attached to him. and then he was gone. and i wanted more from/about him and his daughter. later on in the book, he crops up in another story... but it was so in passing, he barely took root before i was missing him again. silly. i know! along with that wee issue, every chapter is a new beginning. new version of victoria. there is no subtle way to segue from one story to the next. moving from one iteration of victoria to the next was jarring. (though i recognize this could be a very desired effect, this feeling of being unnerved.) my final minor issue had to do with consistency. apart from confirmed identity, we are given very specific information about who the discovered bones were from - gender, age, geography, state of health. some of the imagined victorias were beyond these boundaries. so that was a bit of a puzzle to me (only because the author laid it out for us upfront. if the information garnered from the bones has been less vague, i likely would not even be thinking about this point.)

so that's my petty niggling.

on the upside - and there is more than one:

leroux is a lovely writer, and i enjoyed the translation. despite the difficulties endured by the various victorias, the writing was a sustained exercise in elegance. if that makes sense? i'm not totally sure how to describe it. the writing is beautiful, but it can also be matter-of-fact at times. somehow, leroux has balanced that in a formal way that doesn't feel pretentious.

leroux went straight for my empathy gene. OOF! as i was reading, i found it difficult to not become attached to many of the victorias, and feel worry and concern for them. with the start of each new victoria, the outcome is known. the in-between was fairly harrowing for many of the victorias.

this is a very creative and clever book. rather than smashing us in the face with its purpose, leroux is a kind guide. i believe her purpose in writing each of these stories, and fictionalizing a true event, was to provide a window into the lives of women, and the challenges faced just by existing. the sad point of truth is that a real woman disappeared, and died outside. no one missed her, or was looking for her. even after intense efforts to identify her and find family or friends, investigators (and the media) were not successful. how easy it is for a woman to vanish, and no one notices. leroux gives value and purpose to each of her victorias.

there were some motifs which spanned across the stories which really grabbed my attention and made me curious... unfortunately they weren't much discussed at the meeting. if you've read this one, i would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the motifs of the straight north arrow, one blue eye and one green eye, and the repeated use of 'eon' as a surname - d'eon, on one occasion.

this book made for a really interesting book club discussion - there really is a lot of ground to cover in considering each story, and the volume as a whole. the group was fairly divided between loving it and really disliking it. one member was so angry at the book - mostly, i believe, by what the book asks of readers. they were not having it. another member was so emotionally gutted by it they had to set the book aside after each story to recover. it did turn out to be a polarizing read for the group. so i was a bit of an outlier by falling in the middle. but... books that create this reaction always seem to have more dynamic discussions, don't they?
… (mere)
JooniperD | Oct 27, 2019 |
A bit weak overall but highlights include Mangilaluk's Highway - Nadim Roberts, The Rememberer - Johanna Skibsrud, Swimming Coach - Anosh Irani, How To Pronounce Knife - Souvankham Thammavongsa, Two Indians - Falen Johnson
Opinionated | Jun 9, 2018 |



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