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General presentation:

Colette and Gabrielle Roy embody in each of their countries of origin – and in the world – the feminine literary genius. Their lives, like their works, have many points in common: a privileged relationship with the character of the mother, a mysterious and enchanted link to childhood and the birthplace, the experience of exile, autobiographical writing, the importance of theater both in texts as well as as an actress, work on language and stylistic research. This exhibition allows you to (re)discover the major stages in the life and work of each of the writers based on iconographic documents (portraits, letters, manuscripts).

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300 dpiMGR-par-Marcel-Druwé

Map of the exhibition:




1. Childhood and its spells

• The childhood home

• The mother


2. Two free women

• The experience of exile

• Multiple careers: theater and journalism


3. Two pioneers of female writing

• Autobiographical inspiration: Rue Deschambault and La Maison de Claudine.

• Female characters


4. Crossed lives Comparative chronologies of two lives and two works


Pedagogical exploitation:


The educational kit offers teachers useful material for the study of works in a school setting and various activities allowing them to discover the major stages of each life and the major themes of each work.


In particular, it offers a comparative study of the collections of short stories Rue Deschambault (1967) by Gabrielle Roy and La Maison de Claudine (1922) by Colette through various activities (writing, reading aloud, illustration). We can imagine exchanges between French and Canadian students, particularly around the elucidation of references in the texts leading them to visit each of the houses.





Biographies: Claude Pichois and Alain Brunet, Colette (de Fallois, 1999), Pocket Book, 2004. Gérard Bonal, Colette. I want to do what I want, ed. Perrin, 2014. François Ricard, Gabrielle Roy, a life, ed. Boreal (1996), coll. Boreal Compact, 2000.


Iconography: Claude and Vincenette Pichois, Colette Album, La Pléiade, 1984. Frédéric Maget, The Lives of Colette, ed. Flammarion, 2018.


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