BOOK CLUB HAS TAKEN FLIGHT–JOIN US FOR THE RIDE
Spring is here and it’s time to cultivate Review, August 21, 1966, p. 28.
our garden with new intellectual pursuits. Edmund Wilson, Preface to A Season in
AATF chapters in many regions across the the Life of Emmanuel. New York: Farrar,
U.S. have organized successful Book Club Straus and Giroux, (1966) 1980, pp. v-ix.
meetings. What a pleasure it has been for Salut Galarneau by Jacques Godbout,
teachers to read a book and discuss it with is the third book on Myrna’s List. The year
colleagues who are knowledgeable about following its publication, it won the
literature! Why not plan a Book Club Governor General’s Award. The multi-
meeting for your chapter before coming to talented Godbout is a novelist, playwright,
Quebec for the convention? Teachers are poet, and filmmaker. He occupies a
finding joy in the discovery of the great quintessential place in Quebec culture.
literature emanating from Quebec. There Some suggestions for your guided reading
will be Book Club discussions led by might be:
experts in Quebec literature at the July • Jacques Godbout has seen his
convention. Analyses of these works, as writing as part of French literature, but
well as pedagogical approaches to teach- more particularly as American litera-
ing them, will be presented. Everyone is ture in French. What evidence of
welcome to come and share their ideas. American culture is found in this
Why not come aboard the AATF Book Club work?
and order one of the books today! • How does Godbout’s use of lan-
In the January issue of the National guage reflect Quebec society of the
Bulletin, we featured discussion questions time? How does it add to the humor
on Cet été qui chantait by Gabrielle Roy. and artistry of the novel? What role
Here are some food-for-thought questions does writing play in this work?
on the other two novels on the list: • Godbout describes the mother in
Une saison dans la vie d’Emmanuel by Salut Galarneau as being “like the big
Marie-Claire Blais was hailed as a actresses who danced with Fred
masterpiece both in North America and in Astaire.” Compare the mother in this
Western Europe when it first appeared. It work to that of the mothers in other
received international acclaim by winning Quebec novels. e.g. Bonheur
the Prix Médicis. Discovered by the critic d’occasion or Une saison dans la vie
Edmund Wilson, Blais has become an d’Emmanuel, etc. How does the
icon of Quebec literature and is considered portrayal of the feminine condition,
to be one of the most important writers of sexuality, reflect the evolution of
our era. Here are some suggestions for Quebec society?
discussion: • What makes this work distinctively
• Probably one of the most innovative Québécois yet universal in its emo-
and unique literary techniques used tions?
in this novel is the use of the point of For analyses of this work, see the
view of a newborn infant in the following sources:
opening chapter. Comment on how “Reviews of Hail Galarneau!” Tamarack
this and other techniques used by Review, no. 57, Summer, 1971, pp. 86-87.
Blais enhance the artistic value of this Jacques Godbout, “Literature Forms
work. i.e. her use of language, play of Part of the Quebec Scheme,” Ellipse, No.6,
words, poetry, etc. Winter, 1971, pp. 10-11.
• Critics have tended to see in this work Each of these inexpensive books can
a microcosm of Quebec society. How be purchased from Exportlivre: e-mail:
do the basic institutions of family and [firstname.lastname@example.org]; Fax: (450) 671-
religion become a source of alien- 2121; Tel: (450) 671-3888. Contact per-
ation for the characters. sons: Colette Dupuis and Thomas Deri.
• How is the concept of love presented? Just mention when ordering that you are a
Describe the ways the characters member of the AATF and you will be
express this emotion. You may start eligible to receive a discount. Prices do not
with Grand-mère Antoinette, Héloïse, include shipping, which will vary according
Jean-Le Maigre. Could Jean-Le to the number of books ordered and their
Maigre be a portrayal of Blais herself? shipping destinations.
• What role does the use of black We wish you all bonne lecture! Please
humor play in this work? Would it have write and let us know news of your Book
as much artistic value if this were not Club Meetings. You may also write to me
used? for further discussion questions or for an
For analyses of this work, see the exchange of ideas at: [delsonkaran@
following sources: yahoo.com].
Robertson Davies, “A Season in the Life Myrna Delson-Karan
of Emmanuel.” New York Times Book Region I Representative
4 Vol. 30, No. 4 (April 2005)