Photo: Sarah Scott
Photo: Sarah Scott
QCFINF16 - CoverLivreMatane_RVB
Pub date: July 2016

LIFE IN THE COURT OF MATANE

BY ERIC DUPONT

TRANSLATED BY PETER McCAMBRIDGE


“one of the province’s most daring and original writers” La Presse


I remember reading Eric Dupont’s Bestiaire and thinking, “This is what I want to do with my life: I want to translate this book.”

Now, as the new head of QC Fiction, I have the chance to pick and choose what we put out in English translation. It was not a difficult choice to put down Bestiaire as our first book and get me to translate it. It’s exactly the kind of book we hope to be bringing into English for years to come. It’s quirky and original. Dupont is playful, always with a story to tell, and ambitious, mixing the personal and the parochial (tales of first communions and confirmations) with the political (a history of communist Laos, Quebec’s 1980 referendum). In fact, we chose a title that—we hope—reflects this combination of small-town Quebec (“not quite at the end of the world”) and affairs of state (letters from Leonid Brezhnev) as our narrator, Eric Dupont, grows up in the royal court ruled over by his father and his despotic second wife, all to mock-heroic effect.

It’s a feast of a novel, as calorie-filled and decadent as it is irreverent. In it, you will learn about the Pavel Ponomarev, the Silva compass, and stray Muscovite dogs. You’ll learn…

  • that small, cylindrical red hats can be very important to Indonesians
  • that poetry, hugs, and kisses will get you nowhere in a kingdom where knowledge, science, and cleanliness are rewarded
  • that laughter can be used as a weapon of passive resistance
  • that 8×7 = 56
  • that the ideal weight of a sacrificial lamb is close to forty pounds
  • that summer comes from Manitoba
  • that translation can be the way to a woman’s heart
  • & that Eric Dupont is essential reading for anyone interested in new Quebec literature

This is the start of a new adventure. Thanks so much for being part of it.

Peter McCambridge

QC Fiction editor

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