To the Forest
CBC BOOKS WORKS OF CANADIAN FICTION TO READ IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2023
49th SHELF EDITORS' PICK FOR JUNE 2023
When a family is forced to return to the mother's childhood home, she seeks meaning in her ancestral roots and the violent beauty of the natural world.
Fleeing the city at the beginning of the pandemic, two families are cramped together in a small century-old country house. Winter seeps through the walls, the wallpaper is peeling, and mice make their nest in the piano. Without phones or internet, they turn to the outdoors, where a new language unfolds, a language of fireflies and clover. The five children explore nature and its treasures, while our narrator, AnaÃ¯s, turns to the eccentric neighbours and her own family history to find peace and meaning in the middle of her life.
To the Forest is a field guide to a quieter life, a call to return to the places where we can reweave the threads of memory, where existence waltzes with death, where we can recapture what it means to be alive.
About this Author
Anais Barbeau-Lavalette is a Montreal-based author and director. She was named 2012 Artist for Peace by the social justice organization Les Artistes Pour la Paix. In 2016, her novel La femme qui fuit ( Suzanne ) won the Prix des libraires du Quebec.
Rhonda Mullins is a Montreal-based translator who has translated many books from French into English, including Jocelyne Saucier's And Miles To Go Before I Sleep, Gregoire Courtois' The Laws of the Skies, Dominique Fortier's Paper Houses, and Anais Barbeau-Lavalette's Suzanne . She is a seven-time finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Translation, winning theaward in 2015 for her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Twenty-One Cardinals . Novels she has translated were contenders for CBC Canada Reads in 2015 and 2019 and one was a finalist for the 2018 Best Translated Book Award. Mullins was the inaugural literary translator in residence at Concordia University in 2018. She is a mentor to emerging translators in the Banff International Literary Translation Program.
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