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 contendersChroniques 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 petite 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.Le 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.La 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