A question for author Laurence Leduc-Primeau from translator Natalia Hero

Chloe’s decision to travel to South America seems at first to be motivated by escapism from the depression and heartache she leaves behind at home in Quebec, but her new surroundings end up forcing her to directly confront her personal issues by offering a visible, tangible contrast between her and this new environment. How did the notion of a culture shock strike you as fertile ground for an exploration of the self?

This book was built, from its first iteration, around the idea of being uprooted as a revelation—or an amplification—of the self. Exploring what the foreign makes possible; this exacerbation of emotions, once the reference points, the routine, the known, vanish. Liberated—or ripped—from these bonds that make up daily life (and regulate it, delineate it), Chloe, left to her own devices, lives each banality, each event, more intensely. Her internal state becomes more clearly visible, more easily explorable. We might even say that it takes up all the space.

This city, this room—unknown, foreign—then become the receptacles, the mirrors, of Chloe’s internal search; how to belong in a world that is eroding, without points of reference? How to connect? How to find inside oneself the necessary strength and stability?

The culture shock exposes and rips open what the familiar has allowed us to camouflage over time. From oneself, from others. Madness, suffering, and fear, notably. But also what keeps art, friendship, and curiosity alive. We could ask ourselves if Chloe is running from herself or if she is running from the relationships and obligations that, precisely, prevent her from finding herself, by creating a space free of expectations where she can process her trauma.

Photo credit: Charles Briand


Laurence Leduc-Primeau is Montreal born and bred. In the End They Told Them All to Get Lost is her first novel and the first to be translated. In 2018 she published Zoologies with La Peuplade.





Natalia Hero is a fiction writer and translator from Montreal, Canada. She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish literature from Concordia University and an M.A. in literary translation from the University of Ottawa. Her short fiction and translations have appeared in various publications including Cosmonauts Avenue, Peach Mag, Carte Blanche, and Shabby Doll House. Her debut novella Hum was published in 2018 by Metatron Press.

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