Combat des livres 2012


Canada Reads isn't this country's only literary tournament. Our francophone friends like a good bookish battle royale just as much as we do, and Radio-Canada's Combat des livres is now in its ninth season. Hosted by Quebec TV personality Marie-Louise Arsenault, Combat des livres plays out over the course of a week on Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! (which translates to something like "The more we read, the happier we'll be"). Like Canada Reads, it features a panel of five avid readers, each of whom champions their pick as the French-language book that Canada should read, and books are voted off until only one remains. 

Read on to learn more about this year's contenders!

The contenders

ChrChroniques-60.jpgoniques de Jérusalem by Guy DeLisle

DeLisle has been widely praised for his "graphic travelogues", illustrated memoirs about his experiences in Pyongyang, Shenzhen, and Burma -- the subjects of his previous books that are also available in English. Chroniques de Jérusalem is about a year DeLisle spent in the "holy city" with his travelogue. Drawn & Quarterly will be publishing an English edition later in April.

                     Defended by Gildor Roy, an actor, TV and radio host, and folk/country singer.

La pe
La petite-60.jpgtite et le vieux by Marie-Renée Lavoie

This debut novel about a young woman who wants to live a life of adventure and high drama as a boy, just like her comic book hero Lady Oscar, won the Grand Prix de la Releve littéraire Archambault in 2011.

Defended by Yves Lamontagne, a physician, humanitarian, and inspirational speaker.

Sourire_60.jpgLe sourire de la petite Juive by Abla Farhoud

Lebanese author Abla Farhoud's latest novel is a "fresco" depicting the varied parallel lives of the residents of Montreal's Rue Hutchison as seen through the eyes of aspiring writer Francoise and a young Hassidic Jew named Hinda Rochel.

Defended by Nabila Ben Youssef, a Tunisian-Quebecoise comic.

Voleuse_hommes-60.jpgLa voleuse d'hommes (The Robber Bride) by Margaret Atwood (translated by Anne Rabinovitch)

Atwood's classic dark comic novel about three women who come together to reminisce about their mutual "frenemy," a woman (now dead) who stole each of their romantic partners at some point in time.

Defended by Tasha Kheiriddin, National Post columnist and author of Rescuing Canada's Right: Blueprint for a Conservative Revolution.