Right Out of Tosca

The sprawling, multi-generational history of a family that is a window to the strangeness and richness of Quebec

It has been nearly three-quarters of a century since Hugh MacLennan’s emblematic novel about French-English relations, Two Solitudes, provided Canadians with a metaphor for our dual existence. And since that time, in the field of Canadian literature at least, it feels as though little progress has been made in breaking down the barriers that keep us in our respective linguistic silos. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke, whose title MacLennan borrowed for his novel, was thinking of interpersonal relations when he wrote, “Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.” A hopeful sentiment when it comes to lovers, but it loses its magic when applied to the realities of the Canadian cultural divide.

Now a vibrant and original voice from Quebec has given us a chance to revisit that relationship.

Shortlisted for the 2018 Giller prize, Eric Dupont’s epic 608-page novel...