Place and Belonging: André Alexis's Pastoral, by Pamela Davison   > read more...


Friday 27 June 2014

Review of André Alexis's novel Pastoral

Coach House Books
ISBN: 978-1-552452-86-8
168 pp, Paperback
Feb 28 2014; $17.95 CAD

The Real Venice: Songs of Protest and Five-Star Hotels, Part II, by Marco LoVerso   > read more...


Tuesday 24 June 2014


The Cipriani Pool [Photo: Marco LoVerso]

The Real Venice: Songs of Protest and Five-Star Hotels, Part I, by Marco LoVerso   > read more...


Tuesday 24 June 2014

Tourists who really care to experience the living Venice should ask their gondoliers to forget “O sole mio” and “Torna a Surriento.” The real Venice is in songs like “Giudecca” and “Stucky.”


The Stucky Pool

John Doyle's A Great Feast of Light, by Denis Sampson   > read more...


Tuesday 17 June 2014

On the eve of publishing his own new book, A Migrant Heart (LLP 2014), Irish-born Canadian essayist and biographer Denis Sampson rereads John Doyle's memoir A Great Feast of Light: Growing Up Irish in the Television Age (Doubleday, 2005).

Ann Charney's Latest, by Linda Leith   > read more...


Wednesday 28 May 2014


Photo: Terence Byrnes

Ann Charney is an award-winning writer who was born in Poland and has spent most of her life in Montreal, where she has worked as a columnist for Maclean’s and a feature writer at Saturday Night as well as publishing four novels and a collection of essays entitled Defiance in their Eyes. I will be interviewing her on stage about her latest book, Life Class, as a pre-StoryFest event on Sunday, June 1st, 2 p.m., in St. Mary's Hall, Hudson, Qc.

The event will be followed by a reception and signings at Greenwood, 354 Main Road.  
Tickets $10, availabe at Pure Art, 422, rue Principale, Hudson.

Under the Skin of War, by Chantal Ringuet: launch this evening   > read more...


Tuesday 20 May 2014

Chantal Ringuet, who has written a series of Letters from Israel on this website, has just published  Under the Skin of War (BuschekBooks, Ottawa), a collection of poetry inspired by the work of British photographer Don McCullin. The launch takes place this evening at Librairie Le port de tête, 6 - 8 p.m.

Down the Rabbit-hole, or, Jenny’s Adventures in the Mormon Book Scene, by Jennifer Quist   > read more...


Tuesday 6 May 2014


Novelist Jennifer Quist meets the Mormon book scene in Salt Lake City.

Interview with Fatima Soulhia Manet, by Annie Heminway   > read more...


Wednesday 30 April 2014

Fatima Soualhia Manet brings Marguerite Duras to life on stage.


[Photo: Yan Duffas]

Born in France, Fatima Soualhia-Manet is an actress and stage director. Working in Paris since 1984, she a co-founder and member of the theatrical group DRAO, which has staged five productions since 2003. Her video productions include Processus d’actrices and Traverses ou l’âge d’or de la Loco.
Soualhia-Manet’s current projects include an adaptation of Jane Evelyn Atwood’s photo book Too Much Time and Lukas Bärfuss’s play Quatre images de l’amour.

This interview was conducted by Annie Heminway, with the collaboration of Mathilde Lauliac. It has been translated into English by Zoran Minderović. The original French version appears on this site here.

Riding da Riddim: The Culcha Dancehall Clash II, by Maurie Alioff   > read more...


Thursday 24 April 2014

Miley Cyrus’s eyebrow-raising “twerking” is a bland white-bread facsimile of what happens all over Jamaica, every night, when the selectors program hot songs the deejays rap, and partiers dance until dawn, their moves as stylized as flamenco, not to mention crossing over into acrobatics and contortionism.


Rising dancehall queen Tifa at the Montreal Reggae Fest

Riding da Riddim: The Culcha Dancehall Clash I, by Maurie Alioff   > read more...


Thursday 24 April 2014

Reggae music linked up to the anti-colonial, back-to Africa, enlightenment-seeking Rastafari movement that originated in the 1930’s. It became the only widely popular recent music to transmit religious and political beliefs, and many other outgoing messages. Jah-struck roots reggae (or “culture,” pronounced “culcha”) works like gospel music.

Like a Beast, by Joy Sorman, Part II, translation by Lara Vergnaud   > read more...


Wednesday 9 April 2014


Joy Sorman 
[Photo: C. Hélie. All rights reserved.]

Part I of this translation can be found on this site here.
The original French text of Part II can be found here on Salon .ll.

Like a Beast, by Joy Sorman, Part I, translation by Lara Vergnaud   > read more...


Saturday 5 April 2014

Joy Sorman
[Photo: C. Hélie. All rights reserved.]

Literary translation is a seemingly impossible task – which explains why it is so fascinating. The English-language side of the literary magazine Salon .ll. is the go-to place for discussions which make translation possible. On its French side, Salon .ll. offers an excerpt from Comme une bête (Gallimard, 2012), a novel by the French writer Joy Sorman, side-by-side with an as yet unpublished English-language translation of the same text by Lara Vergnaud. The United States does not have the reputation of a country that translates a lot. Even so, literature likes to scoff at borders and there is no lack of readers, in the United States and elsewhere, when it comes to indulging oneself in the pleasure of discovery combined with the more intellectual exercise of comparison. It is to this subtle dialogue of languages that we now invite you.   

Marie-Andrée Lamontagne
Translated by Ellen Sowchek

Like a Beast tells the story of a young man, Pim, who loves animals. He loves them so much that he learns to butcher them. Perfectly. The author’s meticulous research helps carry the reader deep into the realm of its subject.

Pim is not the cerebral type; he is pragmatic and down-to-earth, ready to leave school and earn a living.  He knows he loves animals and wants them to be an important part of his life, so he becomes an apprentice at the butchery training center at Ploufragan in Brittany. It turns out that he is gifted in his chosen field. Butchery is hard and often difficult work, but Pim is a perfectionist; he enters his profession as a novice joins a religious order. He becomes increasingly passionate about his work, perhaps too passionate. Pim is not the only one who knows he is a different sort of butcher, that he is an artist of the flesh. Women notice that he can mold emotion and sculpt passion with his bare hands, and he soon gains a following not just with meat lovers.

Like a Beast shows us what the meat trade is really like, taking us, along with Pim, from livestock on the hoof in the stall to the slaughterhouse, and finally to packaging ready for purchase. It is a vibrant homage to handicraft, a poetic and metaphysical fable on the relationship between humans and animals, as well as a glimpse into a little known and rough, but fascinating life.

Mavis Gallant: The Writer as Rapscallion III, by Linda Leith   > read more...


Thursday 6 March 2014

III. Delinquency and Writing

The final in a series of three excerpts from a talk presented to the Atwater Library in Montreal, March 6, 2014.


Mavis Gallant

Mavis Gallant: The Writer as Rapscallion II, by Linda Leith   > read more...


Thursday 6 March 2014

II. Escape

The second in a series of three excerpts from a talk presented at the Atwater Library in Montreal, March 6, 2014.


Mavis Gallant, née Mavis Young
[Photo: Glay Sperling]

Mavis Gallant: The Writer as Rapscallion I, by Linda Leith   > read more...


Thursday 6 March 2014

 

Montreal from roof of Ritz-Carlton, 1925
[Photo: McCord Museum]
 
I. Only Personal Independence Matters
 
The first of three excerpts from a talk presented at the Atwater Library, Montreal, on March 6, 2014. 
 
 

Linnet, as in Linnet Muir, by Linda Leith   > read more...


Thursday 6 March 2014

To begin at the end, here is a coda to the talk I gave today at the Atwater Library in Montreal on Mavis Gallant.


Mavis Gallant at The Standard, Montreal

Living with the Ghost of Duncan Campbell Scott   > read more...


Wednesday 29 January 2014

Mark Abley's Conversations with a Dead Man is an unorthodox mash-up of sources, but it is this generic variety which allows the text to both entertain and succeed.

The Immortal Dany Laferrière   > read more...


Friday 13 December 2013


Salon .ll. congratulates Dany Laferrière, the first Canadian to join the Immortals 

[Photo: Louise LeBlanc]

Daewoo, by François Bon - Part Two   > read more...


Monday 25 November 2013

Part Two: Fameck, May 2003: Waiting for the mailman, and Sylvia

Literary translation is a seemingly impossible task – which explains why it is so fascinating. The English-language side of the literary magazine Salon .ll. is the go-to place for discussions which make translation possible. On its French side, Salon .ll. offers an excerpt from Daewoo (Fayard, 2004), a novel by the French writer François Bon,  side-by-side with an as yet unpublished English-language translation of the same text by New Yorkers Alison Dundy and Emmanuelle Ertel. The United States does not have the reputation of a country that translates a lot. Even so, literature likes to scoff at borders and there is no lack of readers, in the United States and elsewhere, when it comes to indulging oneself in the pleasure of discovery combined with the more intellectual exercise of comparison. It is to this subtle dialogue of languages that we now invite you.   

Marie-Andrée Lamontagne
Translated by Ellen Sowchek


When the Korean conglomerate Daewoo proposed setting up new electronics plants in the economically devastated Lorraine region of France, it seemed like a win-win situation. It would prove to be the contrary. Following revelation of accounting fraud, one of the largest in history, in which millions of dollars, including public subsidies were embezzled by management, Daewoo closed up shop and went home. And although the company's president eventually stood trial in Korea, it was small consolation to the workers left behind, their lives and livelihoods destroyed by the scandal.

Daewoo, an evocative historical novel by François Bon, gives voice to these (mostly women) workers who were the ultimate victims of this corporate crime. Based on documentary research and personal interviews with some of the workers, Bon has created a work that captures the very human and often tragic side of this drama. As he himself describes it, "If these female workers no longer have a place anywhere, let this novel be their memoir."

Presentation by Alison Dundy et Emmanuelle Ertel

Daewoo, by François Bon - Part One   > read more...


Friday 15 November 2013

Literary translation is a seemingly impossible task – which explains why it is so fascinating. The English-language side of the literary magazine Salon .ll. is the go-to place for discussions which make translation possible. On its French side, Salon .ll. offers an excerpt from Daewoo (Fayard, 2004), a novel by the French writer François Bon,  side-by-side with an as yet unpublished English-language translation of the same text by New Yorkers Alison Dundy and Emmanuelle Ertel. The United States does not have the reputation of a country that translates a lot. Even so, literature likes to scoff at borders and there is no lack of readers, in the United States and elsewhere, when it comes to indulging oneself in the pleasure of discovery combined with the more intellectual exercise of comparison. It is to this subtle dialogue of languages that we now invite you.   

Marie-Andrée Lamontagne
Translated by Ellen Sowchek


When the Korean conglomerate Daewoo proposed setting up new electronics plants in the economically devastated Lorraine region of France, it seemed like a win-win situation. It would prove to be the contrary. Following revelation of accounting fraud, one of the largest in history, in which millions of dollars, including public subsidies were embezzled by management, Daewoo closed up shop and went home. And although the company's president eventually stood trial in Korea, it was small consolation to the workers left behind, their lives and livelihoods destroyed by the scandal.

Daewoo, an evocative historical novel by François Bon, gives voice to these (mostly women) workers who were the ultimate victims of this corporate crime. Based on documentary research and personal interviews with some of the workers, Bon has created a work that captures the very human and often tragic side of this drama. As he himself describes it, "If these female workers no longer have a place anywhere, let this novel be their memoir."


Presentation by Alison Dundy et Emmanuelle Ertel

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