The Immaculate Conception
Written by Gaetan Soucy
Translated by Lazer Lederhendler
Publication Date August 01, 2007
East-end Montreal in the mid-1920s. A popular restaurant is razed by an arsonist. Seventy-five people perish in the inferno. While strolling with his wheelchair-ridden father, a man furtively salvages a charred icon from the ruins. He is Remouald Tremblay, a self-effacing bank clerk whose pocket holds a treasured rabbit's foot and whose memory contains an unspeakable hell.
Originally published in 1994 as L'Immaculee conception, this is the novel that established Gaetan Soucy as a powerful new literary force in Quebec. In it, he echoes the writing of Edgar Allan Poe and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Immaculate Conception was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 2006.
Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Awards: Translation 2006
Short-listed for the ReLit Awards - Novel 2006
Short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize 2006
Short-listed for the QWF Prize for Translation 2006
GAÉTAN SOUCY was a novelist and professor. He published four novels to wide acclaim in Canada and abroad: The Immaculate Conception, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction; Atonement, Vaudeville!; and The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches, which was translated into more than ten languages. He died in Montreal in 2013.
Lazer Lederhendler is a Montreal-based translator specializing in contemporary Québécois fiction and nonfiction. His work has earned him distinctions in Canada and abroad, including multiple nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Award, which he won in 2008 for the translation of Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner. He is also the translator of Gaétan Soucy’s novel, The Immaculate Conception, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation, and the winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Prize. Ravenscrag, Lederhendler’s translation of a novel by Alain Farah, was published by Arachnide in April 2015.
"It takes a short time to read and a long time to forget. It has the power of a Grimm fairy tale...Nothing is what it first seems." Toronto Star