Canada Gabrielle Roy's groundbreaking novel Bonheur d'occasion awarded historic status

09:25  13 august  2017
09:25  13 august  2017 Source:   The Gazette

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The publication of author Gabrielle Roy ’ s novel Bonheur d ’ occasion has been designated an official historic event, Quebec Culture Minister Luc Fortin announced on Saturday, which is also Buy a Quebec Book day. Last year, Fortin bestowed the honour on Avalée des avalés, by Réjean Ducharme.

Gabrielle Roy ' s groundbreaking novel Bonheur d ' occasion awarded historic status . Quebec's Minister of Culture, Luc Fortin has designated the publication of the novel

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 24102 PM: Gabrielle Roy © Montreal Gazette Gabrielle Roy

The publication of author Gabrielle Roy’s novel Bonheur d’occasion has been designated an official historic event, Quebec Culture Minister Luc Fortin announced on Saturday, which is also Buy a Quebec Book day.

Last year, Fortin bestowed the honour on Avalée des avalés, by Réjean Ducharme.

The novel by the Manitoba-born author appeared in June 1945 and was a great success in Quebec as soon as it was released. The realistic narrative depicts the working class and underprivileged in the St-Henri district of Montreal during the Second World War.

 

Roy has been awarded numerous prizes for this book. She became the first Canadian to receive the prestigious Femina Award in 1947 and in June of that year, the English translation of the novel was chosen as the book of the month by the Literary Guild of America.

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The Tin Flute (original French title Bonheur d ' occasion , "secondhand happiness"), Gabrielle Roy ’ s first novel , is a classic of Canadian fiction. Imbued with Roy ’ s brand of compassion and understanding, this story focuses on a family in the Saint-Henri slums of Montreal

Gabrielle Roy ' s groundbreaking novel Bonheur d ' occasion awarded historic status . Quebec's Minister of Culture, Luc Fortin has designated the publication of the novel

“Powerful social criticism, the novel marks a break in a hundred years of tradition of novels about working-class life. It marks the beginning of a protest literature that emerges in a period of profound social transformations,” the statement read.

“The publication of this novel has contributed to renewing Quebec literature, since the novel is about moving away from the rural values ​​attached to the past, it marks the beginning of more urban literature moving towards modernity,” it continued.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, said he was “proud” of this recognition. “Gabrielle Roy’s work has enabled Montrealers and readers from diverse backgrounds to embrace part of our collective history,” he said in the statement.

After beginning her teaching life in the French-speaking St-Boniface district of Winnipeg, Roy settled in Quebec after travelling around Europe. She died in Quebec City in 1983.

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