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Sanaaq: first novel in Inuktitut, now in English

Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk.jpg.jpgSometimes the story behind a book as good as the story itself. Case in point: Sanaaq, the first novel written in Inuktitut.

The book was written by Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk, an Inuk from northern Quebec. It was published in 1987, but is only now available in English.

Sanaaq is the story of an Inuit family whose way of life is changed by the coming of the traders and missionaries from the South.

Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk's encounter with some of those missionaries in the 1950s actually got her writing in the first place. Sanaaq.jpg                                    An anthropologist from Laval University also played a part.

It's a fascinating story that unfolds over more than 30 years. Christopher Trott tells Sonali Karnick about the author and her book.

Christopher Trott is an associate professor of native studies at the University of Manitoba. He's also an editor for the University of Manitoba Press, which published the English translation (with the Avataq Cultural Institute in Inukjuak) after all these years.

(Photo, above, author Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk; courtesy of University of Manitoba Press. At right, the cover of Sanaaq)

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