The Canadian Cultural Centre invites you to an exceptional encounter with Quebec writer Dominique Fortier. After the success of Paper Houses, winner of the prestigious Prix Renaudot Essai in 2020, the author returns to the world of poetess Emily Dickinson in her new book Les ombres blanches published by Grasset.
In this profound and spellbinding novel, Dominique Fortier recounts the great adventure that led her anonymous heroines to publish Emily Dickinson’s poems for the first time. A luminous text on grief, absence, poetry, the power of words and the importance of literature carried by women’s voices.
Emily Dickinson could have never been more than a foreign name. The name of a woman, an American woman, known less for her literary talent than for having spent most of her life confined to her home. Since she had always fiercely refused to have her writings published, few people knew, during her lifetime (1830-1886), that Emily was also a formidable poet.
Shortly before her death, she asked her sister Lavinia to burn all her personal papers. But when Lavinia discovers hundreds of stunningly beautiful poems scribbled on pieces of envelopes and wrappers in her room, she is both stunned and unable to comply.
How much can the will of the dead change the lives of the living? Is not following their wishes a betrayal? What if words could revive the dead – and those who survive them? Lavinia chooses life.
Dominique Fortier is a Quebec writer and translator. In 2008 she published her first novel, Du bon usage des étoiles (Alto, 2008; Les Editions de La Table ronde, 2011), winner of the Prix Gens de mer / Étonnants voyageurs. In 2016, she received the Governor General’s Literary Award, the highest literary distinction in Canada, for her novel The island of Books (Coach House Books, 2016), and in September 2020, in France, the Prix Renaudot Essai for Paper Houses (Grasset).
The conversation will be moderated by Aïnhoa Jean-Calmettes, head of literature & ideas at Mouvement Magazine.
Book sales will be provided by the librairie du Québec à Paris
In partnership with les éditions Grasset