Away From Her meets Strangers on a Train in this follow-up to cult bestseller And the Birds Rained Down
After And The Birds Rained Down, a stunning meditation on aging and freedom, Jocelyne Saucier is back with her unique outlook on self-determination in this unsettling story about a woman’s disappearance.
Gladys might look old and frail, but she is determined to finish her life on her own terms. And so, one September morning, she leaves Swastika, her home of the past fifty years, and hops on the Northlander train, eager to put thousands of miles of northern Quebec between her and the improbably named village, and leaving behind her perennially tormented daughter, Lisana.
Our mysterious narrator, who is documenting these disappearing northern trains, is eager to uncover the truth of Gladys’s voyage, tracking down fellow passengers and train employees for years to learn what happened to Gladys and her daughter, and why.
Jocelyne Saucier was born in New Brunswick and lives in Abitibi, Québec. Two of her previous novels, La vie comme une image (House of Sighs) and Jeanne sur les routes (Jeanne’s Road) were finalists for the Governor General’s Award. Il pleuvait des oiseaux (And the Birds Rained Down) garnered her the Prix des Cinq continents de la Francophonie, making her the first Canadian to win the award. The book was a CBC Canada Reads Selection in 2015.
Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator. She received the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Twenty-One Cardinals, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Les héritiers de la mine. And the Birds Rained Down, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was a CBC Canada Reads Selection. It was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, as were her translations of Élise Turcotte’s Guyana and Hervé Fischer’s The Decline of the Hollywood Empire. Rhonda currently lives in Montréal.