Woman in Valencia, The

By (author): Annie Perreault

Translated by: Ann Marie Boulanger

While on vacation with her family in Valencia, Claire Halde witnesses a shocking event that becomes the catalyst for a protracted downward spiral and a profound personal unravelling as she struggles to come to grips with her role in the incident.
This haunting novel, which unfolds across three timelines set in as many decades, takes the reader on a dark journey through the minds of three women whose pasts, presents and futures are decided by a single encounter on a scorching summer afternoon.


Annie Perreault

Annie Perreault was born in Montreal and graduated from McGill University with a degree in Russian studies and French literature. The Woman in Valencia is her first novel. It was shortlisted for the Rendez-vous du premier roman and was a finalist for the prestigious Prix Ringuet. Her 2015 collection of short stories L?occupation des jours received an Honourable Mention from the Prix Adrienne-Choquette, and she is a previous winner of the Grand Prix littéraire Radio-Canada for best short story.


&#147 In candid, free-flowing prose, Perreault explores through (three women) the multiple meanings running can have: both as a means of escape and also a way to push yourself forward.&#148, Jade Colbert, The Globe and Mail

&#147A dark debut . . . Bewitching sentences tend to flow out of Quebec, and Perreault’s novel is full of them.&#148 Literary Review of Canada

&#147Perreault excels at creating a sense of place; she makes Valencia feel barren, hot, arid, menacing, and impenetrable. The narrative explores aspects of abandonment, from relinquishing responsibility for family, to surrendering one?s own identity. VERDICT In this promising debut novel, Canadian author Perreault creates an unsettling world by digging deeply into her characters? motivations and complexities. &#148 Library Journal May 2021

&#147The Woman in Valencia is a wonderful story containing far more questions than answers, and Boulanger has done a great job with Perreault’s novel in what is her first full work of literary translation.&#148 — Tony Malone, Tony’s Reading List

&#147QC Fiction, the Canadian imprint that specialises in translating French fiction into English, continues to be innovative: every title in their catalogue is stimulating to read . . . For a while I thought this would have been better as a long short story, but as the various strands of narrative assembled themselves I began to appreciate the author’s artistry. Her focus is on the feelings and impulses of her main characters: we get right inside their heads, and the intensity of their emotions is palpable . . . The translation, as always with QC titles, is excellent: idiomatic and smooth.&#148 — Simon Lavery, Tredynas Days

“Translations of French novels by Quebec authors don’t always hit the mark in English Canada. ‘The Woman in Valencia’ does…. These emotions, which many of us have known in life, make the novel and characters very accessible and draw us into the story, if only for a brief time. Perreault certainly has demonstrated an exceptional talent for this genre of fiction-writing, and her translator, Boulanger, impeccable work in rendering the novel into English. … If and when Perreault picks up the pen to write a new novel, I will eagerly read it. For the time being, I will nurture the tender strokes of unhappiness, the shadowy outcomes and the enduring characters of the women in her first novel. &#148 (Ian Thomas Shaw, The Ottawa Review of Books)

Journal de Montreal

&#147A novel in which inaction and avoidance collide, in a masterfully fictionalized retelling of a real-life event experienced by the author. As disturbing as it is moving. &#148 FIVE STARS (Isabelle Houde, Le Droit)

&#147With her finely honed writing style, the author explores the themes of avoidance, powerlessness in the face of incomprehension, and empathy as a middle ground. &#148 (Mario Cloutier, La Presse+)

Salut Bonjour Weekend)

&#147Alternating between tragedy and light, this debut novel forces the reader to question their own sense of compassion and empathy. &#148 (Claudia Larochelle, L’actualité)

&#147A beautiful novel and an engaging style that stays with the reader. &#148 (Yvon Paré, Littérature du Québec)

&#147With pitch-perfect prose and an ear for rhythm, Annie Perreault explores the physical and psychological ramifications of anxiety with intelligence and sensitivity.&#148 (Anne-Frédérique Hébert-Dolbec, Le Devoir )


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230 Pages
8.50in * 5.50in * .50in


March 15, 2021


Baraka Books



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FICTION / Literary

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