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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

TUESDAY TRAVELS: PARIS IN JULY 15.7.14



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Travelling today to the French Canadian world of renowned author, Gabrielle Roy,
who left Canada for Paris where she began her writing.  Her first novel Bonheur d’occasion was published in 1945, for which she won the Prix FĂ©mina from France.
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We take a look at
La Route d'Altamont
The Road Past Altamont
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First published in French in 1966, The Road Past Altamont reveals the heart of a child's world. Ms Roy creates a deeply personal story of a young girl’s decision to become a writer. Seen to be autobiographical,
this haunting and poignant tale weaves delicate but substantial impressions, emotions, and human relationships.  The book covers themes including the social divide between the French Canadian and English Canadian communities in what were the twin cities of St. Boniface and Winnipeg, Manitoba, European immigration to the Canadian prairies, family dynamics and racial integration.
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Visages de Gabrielle Roy - [Marc Gagne` 1973]
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 In her writing, Gabrielle Roy allowed "nothing extraneous or false to stand," according to the translator, Joyce Marshall. The literary style of Roy, whose fiction reflects her childhood on the Canadian prairie, has often been compared to that of Willa Cather. 
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The Road Past Altamont
 takes a sensitive French-Canadian girl, Christine, from childhood innocence to maturity. Four connected stories reveal profound moments during her early years in the vastness of Manitoba. Christine's testament to Grandmother's creative power, her great adventure with an old gentleman at Lake Winnipeg and her clandestine one with a crude family of movers, her journey through time and space with aging Maman—all these characters and events convey Gabrielle Roy's preoccupation with childhood and old age, the passage of time and mystery of change, and the artist's relation to the world.  ~ publisher
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My Thoughts?
The ethereal quality to some of Ms Roy's writing,  excellent wordsmithing, and authenticity of characters, all qualities I enjoy very much, made for soulful reading.
Set in my home province of Manitoba on the vast Canadian prairies, this is one of Ms Roy's classics.

The autobiographical connection adds to the intrigue. Featuring 3 segments of Christine's life - a unique writing form in itself - offer insights into an emotionally evocative childhood stay with her maternal grandmother; 
an affirming and endearing friendship with an elderly neighbour; and a reflective adulthood with her aging Maman, prior to Christine's leaving for Paris, and the return to Canada afterward at the outset of war.  

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All contributed to a fascinating introduction to this author that has inspired me to look for more by 
Gabrielle Roy.
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Her childhood home in St. Boniface, now the French quarter of Winnipeg, capital city of Manitoba, is now a museum ~ La Maison Gabrielle Roy at 375 Rue Deschambault 
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Find @MaisonGabRoy twitter
for a lovely maison interior view HERE
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Adding to the Paris in July 2014 event 
week 3 link at Tamara's Thyme for Tea.
Have  you found Paris in July Pinterest ?

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Join us for all things Paris en francais!


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2 comments:

Tamara said...

Oh You're from Manitoba! I started school in Churchill and spent a couple of years of my childhood there. Thanks for posting this review, it sounds like a divine little story. Almost Anne of Green Gables!

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

What discoveries we make in our blogging world! lovely to know that, Tamara. And, yes, the antics of Anne are clearly evident in Christine's liveliness as well =)

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