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Any suggestions for books about Quebec? A friend is going to be visiting there and is looking for book suggestions.
Earth and High Heaven by Gwethalyn Graham is back in print; Montreal during WW2.
Some of Michel Tremblay's novels and plays have been translated into English, and are great reads, with fascinating characters, and a very realistic atmosphere. He has a series set in Plateau Mont-Royal in Montreal in the mid 20th century, and they are wonderful. Look for The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant, Therese et Pierrette and the little hanging angel, Les Belles Soeurs, Albertine in Five Times, Hosanna, The heart laid bare, Sainte-Carmen of the Main, the First quarter of the moon, and more.
I know that For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again is intended to be universal rather than specifically québécois (after all, I saw it in Singapore) but it's really one of my favorite plays.
I have a small collection of books about historical Canada especially Quebec as I am researching for a book I'm writing about early Quebec settlers. I am still looking for more information about the way they lived in the 17th century, as in the food they ate, houses they built, how they got their water, how they were able to clear the land and protect them selves from weather and indians.
so far I own the following:
1. J. M. Bumsted -A History of the Canadian Peoples
2. Audrey I Armstrong -Harness in the parlour: A book of early Canadian fact and folklore
3. Joseph Lister Rutledge- Century of conflict; the struggle between the French and British in colonial America
4. Indians of Quebec and the Maritime Provinces (an historical review)
Does anyone have some other suggestions?
There was a series of videos/TV shows (about 20) made a few years ago by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. called "Canada Then and Now" - I have used them for teaching Canadian history. There was also a large book that accompanied the series. I don't know if you could get them where you live, but interlibrary loan might produce them. They present fact in a dramatic form but are very well done and I think pretty accurate. There would be some info. on how the settlers lived. Be prepared for a slant you might not have learned in American schools. Our history is quite different even though we inhabited the same continent!
The People of New France by Allan Greer is a really great book. He is very knowledgeable about New France and I got the chance to hear him lecture when he came in my class as a guest.
It really is hard to find novels about Quebec, because most of them are in French. Sara Donati's novels take place in Quebec, especially Dawn on a Distant Shore which is set in Montreal for about a third of the book or maybe less. Picture Maker and Dream Weaver by Penina Keen Spinka takes place in Quebec (for the most part), but it is speculative fiction as it tells the story of a Mohawk women who actually goes to live in Greenland in pre-contact times.
At the moment I cannot think of anything else that I have read, but if I do I will post again. My mother bought a novel about Samuel de Champlain's wife, Helen (I think that was her name, lol), and it is supposedly a pretty good book but it is in French and it would take me forever to read because my French is not all that great.
I am from Quebec by the way. lol
Not sure it takes place in Quebec, but the tenderness of wolves takes place in the late 19th century in Canada and is quite good.
I think The Tenderness of Wolves is set in the Northwest Territories....
There are novels about Quebec written in French - but there are translations as many are used in Canadian high school English classes. Gabrielle Roy comes to mind - they may not be completely historical in the sense that they would be set in the 20th century. Mordecai Richler wrote about the Jewish experience in Montreal and they were originally written in English. Hugh MacLennan wrote in English and his novel Two Solitudes looked at the English/French issue - it's been around a long time - also set in the 20th century, but memory fails (I studied it in HS) - some of it might have been earlier. And then there's Mazo de la Roche who wrote the Jalna series early in the 20th c.
>7 The White and the Gold by Thomas Costain?? I recall W&G along with Century of Conflict as fascinating (sometimes hair-raising!) selections from my dad's bookshelves.
Does anyone know of a novel that covers the early history of Quebec? I'm thinking 18th Century.... the plot involved a father/shopkeeper and his daughter (mother/wife had died earlier). Plot describes hard winters, British and french tensions to control Quebec, storing quail during the winter months in barrels filled with lard. Had religious tone to it...
I really enjoyed Bride of New France. I'm pretty sure that I wrote a review about it if your are interested. It was a great read, and I think quite well researched. It involves woman taken from Paris to " New France " - that being the area around Montreal in the late 1600's. Plot describes what it was like for a woman to come to New France and be selected as wife and all of the challenges that came with homesteading. Great story.
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