In Alexandre Chenevert, the Montreal bank teller trapped by his narrow environment and acutely aware of his loneliness, Gabrielle Roy has created a vivid and poignant portrait of an ordinary man and his attempts to transcend his circumstances and his fate.
Set in 1947 amid the crumbled dreams of the post-War world, and drawing on modern themes of personal alienation and of the restorative force of nature, The Cashier is a tour de force of characterization and empathy by a literary virtuoso.
Children of my heart
Set in the prairies in the 1930s, and rich with the author’s own memories of her time there as a young woman, this is a powerful story of an impressionable and passionate young teacher and the pupils, from impoverished immigrant families, whose lives she touches. Children of My Heart bears unforgettable testimony to the healing power love exerts on the wounds of loneliness and poverty.
Enchantment and sorrow
Shortly before her death, one of Canada's greatest writers finally set aside fictional characters and tols her own story. This candid protrayal of Gabrielle Roy's first thirty years - from her poverty-filled childhood in St. Boniface, Manitoba, as one of eight children, through her travels in Europe on the brink of war, to her return home just a few years before she began writing The tin flute - is an honest, deeply moving account of a young woman's search for purpose... and a voice.
Garden in the wind
Few writers portray the dignity of people trapped by poverty or emotional isolation as compassionately as Gabrielle Roy does in the four stories of western Canada that comprise Garden in the Wind. The effortless craft and poetic sensitivity evident in all her writing are here in full abundance as she recounts the stories of a tramp who belongs to no one, a Chinese immigrant struggling to fulfill his dream, Doukhobor settlers fired by a vision of a new land, and a lonely woman who nurtures her small but splendid garden. Imbued with a poignant simplicity, these are stories of sheer artistry.
The road past Altamont
Those who have read Roy's Street of Riches will be heartened to read this continuation of Roy's journey to authorship, with her literary persona Christine returning once more. In the span of four short stories, Christine relives details and remembered observations of the world as she saw it then, and the realization of what she was seeing as she looked back. With refreshing candor and wry humour, Roy delivers an exemplary follow-up to her first novel, as young Christine learns what it means to move through the stages of life, and how change is inevitable with each movement.
Street of riches
The eighteen stories in Gabrielle Roy's Street of Riches centre upon the bittersweet experiences of a young girl growing up in the francophone community of St. Boniface, Manitoba. In the persona of her narrator Christine, Roy transfigures the incidents and characters of her own childhood, reflecting with gentle irony upon her youthful awakening to the beauty and the sorrow of life. Acclaimed upon its original publication in French in 1955, this superb collection infuses the authenticity of memoir with the timeliness and universality of the best imaginative art.
The tin flute
The first among her repertoire of award-winning novels, The Tin Flute is Gabrielle Roy's sympathetic novel about a family's struggle to survive the Montreal slums of Saint-Henri, overcome poverty, and find love--all amidst the mounting tensions of the Second World War.
Where nests the water hen
The story of Where Nests the Water Hen is as pure as the lives of the people in it – and as unforgettable. Set in the remote wilderness of northern Manitoba, this sunny, tender idyll of daily frontier life captures, as few novels ever have, the spirit and the surroundings of the pioneers – not the adventurers and trailblazers who make the headlines, but rather the humble folk who follow after and remain, living out their lives in obscurity to keep the trails open.
Where Nests the Water Hen, Gabrielle Roy’s second novel, is a sensitive and sympathetic tale that captures both the innocence and the vitality of a sparsely populated frontier.
Set against the austere landscape of northern Labrador, Windflower is the poignant story of Elsa Kumachuk, a young Inuit woman torn between two worlds by the birth of her blond-haired, blue-eyed son. Unacknowledged by his father, an American GI, the child is welcomed into the Inuit community with astonishment and delight. Elsa, however, must come to terms with the conflicting values implied by her son’s dual heritage.
Gabrielle Roy’s last novel, Windflower is both a moving account of one woman’s tragic dilemma and a sensitive portrait of a society in transition.
About Gabrielle Roy
The Contemporary Gabrielle Roy
Canadian Literature is an academic quarterly that publishes peer-reviewed scholarly articles in French or English related to the field of Canadian literature, broadly defined. The journal’s deep commitment to Canadian writing does not stop there. We also publish book reviews of critical and creative works, poems, short notes, writings of importance that have been rediscovered in the archives, interviews with writers, and articles by writers about their craft.
Break of day
Colette began writing Break of Day in her early fifties, at Saint-Tropez on the Côte d'Azur, where she had bought a small house after the breakup of her second marriage. The novel's theme—the renunciation of love and the return to an independent existence supported and enriched by the beauty and peace of nature—grows out of Colette's own period of self-assessment in the middle of her life. A collection of subtle reflections about love and life, it is among her most thoughtful and stylistically bold works.
Cheri and The last of Cheri
Chéri, together with The Last of Chéri, is a classic story of a love affair between a very young man and a charming older woman. The amour between Fred Peloux, the beautiful gigolo known as Chéri, and the courtesan Léa de Lonval tenderly depicts the devotion that stems from desire, and is an honest account of the most human preoccupations of youth and middle age. With compassionate insight Colette paints a full-length double portrait using an impressionistic style all her own.
Gigi is the story of a young girl being raised in a household more concerned with success and money than with the desires of the heart. But Gigi is uninterested in the dishonest society life she observes all around her and remains exasperatingly Gigi.
The collected stories of Colette
The Collected Stories of Colette beings together in one volume for the first time in any language the comprehensive collection of short stories by the novelist known worldwide as Colette, and now acknowledged, with Proust, as the most original French narrative writer of the first half of our century. of the one hundred stories gathered here, thirty-one appear for the first time in English and another twenty-nine have been newly translated for this volume.
The complete Claudine
Colette, prodded by her first husband, Willy, began her writing career with Claudine at School, which catapulted the young author into instant, sensational success. Among the most autobiographical of Colette's works, these four novels are dominated by the child-woman Claudine, whose strength, humor, and zest for living make her seem almost a symbol for the life force.
Janet Flanner described these books as "amazing writing on the almost girlish search for the absolute of happiness in physical love . . . recorded by a literary brain always wide awake on the pillow."
My Mother's house and Sido
My Mother's House and Sido, Colette plays fictional variations on the themes of childhood, family, and, above all, her mother. Vividly alive, fond of cities, music, theater, and books, Sido devoted herself to her village, Saint-Saveur; to her garden, with its inhabitants and its animals; and, especially, to her children, particularly her youngest, whom she called Minet-Chéri. Unlike Gigi and Chéri, which focus largely on sexual love and its repercussions, My Mother's House and Sido center on the compelling figure of a powerful, nurturing woman in late-nineteenth-century rural France, conveying the impact she had on her community and on her daughter—who grew up to be a great writer.
Thirty-three years-old and recently divorced, Renée Néré has begun a new life on her own, supporting herself as a music-hall artist. Maxime, a rich and idle bachelor, intrudes on her independent existence and offers his love and the comforts of marriage. A provincial tour puts distance between them and enables Renée, in a moving series of leters and meditations, to resolve alone the struggle between her need to be loved and her need to have a life and work of her own.
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