Voices of Deliverance: Interviews with Quebec and Acadian Writers
Contains Illustrations, Index
Julie Rekai Rickerd is a Toronto broadcaster and public relations
Donald Smith, who teaches Quebec and Acadian literature at Carleton University, has compiled an extraordinary series of interviews with such Quebec and Acadian writers as Félix-Antoine Savard, Anne Hébert, Yves Thériault, Jacques Ferron, Jacques Godbout, Gatien Lapointe, Michel Tremblay and Antonine Maillet. Each interview is preceded by a short biography and a brief outline of one of the writer’s works relevant to the interview. Smith’s questions and the writers’ answers, smoothly and unobtrusively translated from the French by Larry Shouldice, deal with matters of language, politics, religion, social issues and, most important, the actual creative process as seen and felt by each author.
Savard discusses his experiences with “pure natives ... people who have grown out of the land and woods,” his respect for language, and the repercussions of man’s original fall from grace. Thériault talks about his days as a semi-professional tennis player and boxer and the conflict of his father’s Amerindian Montagnais background on the North Shore and his mother’s devotion to the middle class way of life “which is a rejection of all natural values.” Marie-Claire Blais claims to have been strongly influenced by the poetry of Anne Hébert and the novels of Jean Cocteau. Michel Tremblay describes his interest in human communication and the creative imagination. Maillet views the sea as a feminine symbol and talks about the many paradoxes in the world.
Voices of Deliverance is a fascinating glimpse into the lives and thoughts of the cream of Quebec and Acadian writers. Donald Smith’s vast knowledge of his subjects and their works and his obvious intellectual curiosity enable him to produce a captivating and complete work. This is an essential documentary about some of the many great writers in French Canada.