Nadia Comaneci's gold-medal performance at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976 is the starting point for a whole new generation. Eric Dupont watches the performance on TV, mesmerized. The son of a police officer (Henry VIII) and a professional cook—as he likes to remind us—he grows up in the depths of the Quebec countryside with a new address for almost every birthday and little but memories of his mother to hang on to. His parents have divorced, and the novel's narrator relates his childhood, comparing it to a family gymnastics performance worthy of Nadia herself. Life in the Court of Matane is unforgiving and we explore different facets of it (dreams of sovereignty, schoolyard bullying, imagined missions to Russia, poems by Baudelaire), each based around an encounter with a different animal, until the narrator befriends a great horned owl, summons up the courage to let go of the upper bar forever, and makes his glorious escape.
Baraka Books; June 2016
- ISBN 9781771860789
- Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
- Title: Life in the Court of Matane
- Author: Eric Dupont; Peter McCambridge (trans.)
Imprint: QC Fiction
In The Press
"By turns poignant, playful, and nostalgic, the book evokes '70s Quebec with the quirky but successful device of combining an autobiographical family story with motifs drawn from fable, history, politics and myth . . . . Translator McCambridge beautifully captures the joyous top notes and the darker undercurrents of this fascinating voice." —Publishers Weekly
About The Author
Eric Dupont's books are among the first in a wave of new Quebec literature: La Presse has called him "one of the province's most daring and original writers," while Voir maintains that just two novels were enough to make his work "essential reading for anyone interested in new Quebec literature." Born in 1970, Eric Dupont lives and works in Montreal where he teaches translation at McGill University. Peter McCambridge is an award-winning literary translator. He founded and heads the Québec Reads webzine and now runs QC Fiction, a new imprint of Baraka Books devoted to publishing contemporary Québec literature in translation.