Selected Tales of Jacques Ferron


245 pages
ISBN 0-88784-140-6




Translated by Betty Bednarski

Julie Rekai Rickerd is a Toronto broadcaster and public relations


Jacques Ferron is a Renaissance man. He is a doctor, playwright, essayist, critic, founder of the Rhinoceros Party of Canada, spokesman for Quebec, and multi-award winning novelist.

Selected Tales of Jacques Ferron successfully brings together a selection of Ferron’s finest short stories. He uses these tales as “try-outs” for the themes and characters of his longer works. They are his sneak previews. He is an excellent story-teller, and his prose reflects the very inflections of the spoken word. Ferron’s vast experience with the human condition in his capacity as a physician in the Gaspé is transposed with ease to his stories. Ferron writes about the ordinary, the fantastic, tragedy and comedy — that is, life itself. His strong sense of satire enriches his command of the realities couched within the fantasies. He recreates the foibles of daily existence in a bittersweet world of his own. Dead cows speak and a bull becomes a lawyer. Ferron’s keen sense of politics and his love for his native Quebec play major roles throughout his stories. His keen powers of observation and sensitivity add vivid detail to his chronicles of the rural and urban dilemmas of Quebec, in which some of his characters belong to the “Society for the Survival of the French Agony in Quebec.”

Betty Bednarski’s excellent translation retains Ferron’s unique colloquial style and expressive dialogue. Her introduction is a helpful guide to Ferron’s personality and purpose.

This collection of tales not only offers most enjoyable reading, it is also a series of important statements and revelations to those unfamiliar with the grass roots history, politics, and social structure of Quebec.


Ferron, Jacques, “Selected Tales of Jacques Ferron,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,