It may not be spring in Quebec quite yet, but Paris is enjoying the Printemps du Québec, a three-month celebration of the best of Quebec as the guest of honour at Europe's biggest annual public cultural festival.
At Paris's mammoth Salon du Livre, no fewer than 60 authors from Quebec are appearing to read from and discuss their work. Over 99 days, March 16 to June 21, Europeans will be treated to an intensive education in the particularities of Quebec. Round-table discussions have been organized on such subjects as the American qualities of Quebec culture and the distinctiveness of Quebec French.
French reporters did their homework in advance, travelling throughout Quebec in the months preceding the event to do interviews and collect data for their readers and listeners at home.
The event extends well beyond Paris. Professor Lucie Lequin (Études françaises) is going to Aix-en-Provence to take part in a symposium on the theme Définir l'intégration.
The organizers wanted her to talk about the representation of immigrant women in Quebec literature, and she is emphasizing her view that these women have not yet been integrated by calling her presentation
Les femmes migrantes et la troisième solitude.
Lequin and her colleague Professor Maïr Verthuy have edited a book on the writing of migrant women, Feminin pluriel: une anthologie littéraire. David Homel, a well-known novelist and a professor in the Translation program, will also be
Trevor Ferguson, prize-winning novelist (The Timekeeper) and lecturer in Concordia's English Department, was invited as an English-language Quebec author, and francophone writers outside Quebec are being represented at the Salon by Western Canadian Marguerite Primeau, author of several short-story collections and novels (Sauvage Sauvageon) and a former professor at the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia.