A question for translator Katia Grubisic

What appeals to you most about reading and translating David Clerson?

You know when you’re reading a book, and the writer’s universe – the language, their characters, the setting, the whole way they see the world – gets under your skin, in the lining of your brain, in the way you narrate your own world to yourself? David’s work is like that. It’s not sci-fi, not quite dystopic, but his short fiction, his novellas, and his novels seem to take place with a filter, or maybe behind the fogged-up glass of a greenhouse where experiments in exaggerated humanity are tended. I like translating David’s work for lots of reasons – we get along, and from one book to the next a relationship has grown, there’s a shorthand there. But especially what I love is inhabiting his stories. They stay with you. There’s something there that’s at once cult-futuristic, and deeply ancient..
David Clerson - Photo Credit David Cherniak
Photo: David Cherniak


David Clerson was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in 1978 and lives in Montreal. His first novel, Brothers, also translated by Katia Grubisic for QC Fiction, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation and a National Post Book of the Year.


Photo: J. Parr


Katia Grubisic is a writer, editor, and translator. She has published translations of works by Marie-Claire Blais, Martine Delvaux, and Stéphane Martelly. Her translation of David Clerson’s first novel, Brothers, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for translation.

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