Winter Child

By Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau
Translated by Susan Ouriou & Christelle Morelli

Winter Child
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One late September day, amid the year’s first snowfall, the winter child is born. He does not breathe. His mother watches helplessly until “at last the baby uttered a first tentative croak like a frog unsure of spring’s arrival. ”

Then again, and again, and again, the ... Read more


Overview

One late September day, amid the year’s first snowfall, the winter child is born. He does not breathe. His mother watches helplessly until “at last the baby uttered a first tentative croak like a frog unsure of spring’s arrival. ”

Then again, and again, and again, the winter child narrowly avoids death’s reach. But his mother knows: “he would be her wound, she would have to battle to keep him with her, to defend him against the worst of all enemies. ”

Originally published in French and told through alternating and overlapping memories, Winter Child is a powerful meditation on grief and life. With a poet and storyteller’s language, Virgina Pésémapéo Bordeleau traces a mother’s journey from devastation to strength, descending to the darkest inner depths, and finally finding the generosity of life and love.

Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau

Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau is an internationally recognized visual artist and writer of Cree origin. She has published three novels and two poetry collections in French. She received the 2020 Artist of the Year Award from the Counseil des arts et lettres du Quebec. She lives in Abitibi, in northwest Quebec.

Susan Ouriou

Susan Ouriou is an award-winning writer, editor and literary translator, with over thirty translations and co-translations of fiction, non-fiction, children's and young adult literature to her credit. She won the Governor General's Literary Award for Translation. She lives in Calgary.

Christelle Morelli

Christelle Morelli is a literary translator and teacher in Calgary's Francophone school system. She has translated works of poetry and fiction, including Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau's Winter Child and was short-listed for the Governor General's translation award for Stolen Sisters. Born in France, she has lived in Quebec and Western Canada.

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