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Thursday, 3 October 2013

RECAP: Arachnide double launch w/ Perrine Leblanc and Louis Hamelin


Back on September 19th we were delighted to host a double book launch featuring Perrine Leblanc and Louis Hamelin! Sarah MacLachlan (no, not that one) from House of Anansi Press was here to introduce the night, since the evening's two books are some of the first to appear from Anansi's Arachnide imprint, which was launched in July 2013 and specializes in French-to-English translations. 


After a few words from his translator Wayne Grady (a celebrated author in his own right), Louis Hamelin took the stage and read an excerpt from Grady's English translation of La Constellation du Lynx, which Arachnide has just published as October 1970. The novel is a tense and complex thriller about conspiracy theories surrounding the events of the 1970 October crisis; an intrepid freelance reporter is determined to find the truth. Shades of Don Delillo's politicized paranoia were evident, and Hamelin was the first to admit the influence of the American author on his own sensibility.
 

Next, the slightly stage-shy Perrine Leblanc thanked the assembled crowd for coming out before ceding the stage to Noah Richler, who gave a commanding reading from Leblanc's Kolia, which received The Governor General's award when it first appeared in French (from Le Quartanier) as L'homme blanc. The story, praised for its luminous minimalism, concerns a boy born into a Siberian Gulag in 1937. After Stalin's death, he becomes a circus performer, and the story follows his adventures into the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.

All in all, a wonderful night with a packed house. Thanks again to everyone who came!

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