Register Sunday | January 17 | 2021


Writing from Quebec. Translated by Madeleine Stratford.


In 1966, Réjean Ducharme—an unknown, twenty-four-year-old Québécois writer—released his debut novel. Set in the suburbs of Montreal during the Quiet Revolution, L’Avalée des avalés follows Berenice Einberg, a rebellious eleven-year-old, as she navigates a strained relationship with her parents and the overwhelming love she feels for her brother, Christian. Ducharme published his novel in France, as his manuscript had been rejected by every publishing house in his home province. Nevertheless, the book became a sensation in Quebec. It’s been taught in schools for generations and is widely considered the foundation of modern Québécois literature. The following excerpt comes from Swallowed, Madeleine Stratford’s new translation of Ducharme’s novel. Published this fall by Véhicule Press, Stratford’s translation marks the first time an English edition of the book has been in print since 1968, and the only time that one has been available ...

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