The Longest Year
Written by Daniel Grenier
Translated by Pablo Strauss
There’s something extraordinary about Thomas Langlois.
Thomas is a young boy growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with a French-Canadian father, Albert, and an American mother, Laura. But beyond the fact that he lives between two cultures and languages, there’s something else about Thomas that sets him apart: he was born on February 29.
Before Albert goes on a strange quest to find out more about their mysterious relative, Aimé Bolduc, he explains to Thomas that he will only age one year out of every four and he will outlive all of his loved ones.
Thomas’s loneliness grows and the years pass until a terrible accident involving a young girl sets in motion a series of events that link the young girl and Thomas to Aimé Bolduc — a Civil War–era soldier and perhaps their contemporary.
Spanning three centuries and set against the backdrop of the Appalachians, from Quebec to Tennessee, The Longest Year is a magical and poignant story about family history, fateful dates, fragile destinies, and lives brutally ended and mysteriously extended.
Winner of the Prix littéraire des collégiens 2015
Long-listed for the Prix des libraires 2015
Long-listed for the Prix littéraire France-Québec 2015
DANIEL GRENIER was born in Brossard, Quebec, in 1980. His debut short story collection, Malgré tout on rit à Saint-Henri was published in 2012, and he has translated Anna Leventhal’s Sweet Affliction, Arjun Basu’s Waiting for the Man, and Mireille Silcoff’s Chez L’arabe into French. The Longest Year, his first novel, won the Prix littéraire des collégiens and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for French Fiction, the Prix des libraires, and the Prix littéraire France-Québec. He lives in Quebec City.
PABLO STRAUSS grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, and has lived in Quebec City for a decade. His translations of Quebec authors have appeared in various online and print publications.
"A solid work . . . magical." La Presse
"Ambitious. An epic with dense, controlled writing. Large in scope yet intimate . . . A tour de force that takes us across centuries, past frontiers . . . and doesn’t hesitate to flirt with fantasy." Le Devoir