Loaded with grit, heart, murder, and desire, Griffintown harnesses the style of a Spaghetti Western to tell the exhilarating story of the calèche drivers of Old Montreal, the city’s urban cowboys. It s a novel ulike any other — a story of sorrow and renewal, of unexpected moments of grace.
The sun rises on Griffintown after the months of snow under which the city of Montreal has been dormant. It is the dawn of the season of survival. Men and horses return to the stable. Winter has taken some of their number. Fewer are coming back. Some men, like John, pick up the reins like a bad habit. For others, past lives trail behind them, and Griffintown is their last chance. Marie comes looking for a job that will bring her closer to the horses she loves. She is not aware of the lives of desperation led by man and horse, nothing like the romantic ideal she has of them.
Marie Hélène Poitras
Marie Hélène Poitras is a music journalist as well as editor of the CBC's Zone d'ecriture, a web space devoted to contemporary literature. Her first novel, Suddenly the Minotaur (2002), won the Prix Anne-Hébert. Cute death and other stories (2005) was a finalist for the Québécois Booksellers Award. Her second novel, Griffintown (2012), won the Prix littéraire France-Québec. Poitras was born in Ottawa and now lives in Montreal.
La Presse Best Book 2012, Commended
Prix Littéraire France-Québec 2012, Winner
Prix Ringuet de l'Académie des lettres du Québec, Short-listed
Prix des lecteurs émergent de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Short-listed
“An absolutely thrilling novel!”
“Surprises and seduces in both its narrative voice and stylistic brio. Marie Hélène Poitras is a writer to follow closely!”
“There is something of a great writer in Marie Hélène Poitras. ”
“A ride in the Far West that is not to be forgotten. ”
“A real Western, where good and evil clash as in the time of Jesse James . .. a great trip to a little known world. ”
“A novel that is akin to the great westerns of Cormac McCarthy. ”
“Full of characters imbued with sensuality and mystery. The reader will not want to leave. ”
“Poitras writes beautifully, realizing her world in a rich, emotional prose that invites the reader to settle in for a long, slow read. Her sensuous language evokes empathy for the horses, their riders, and ways of living that have lost their place in the city. ”
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