These Festive Nights

These Festive Nights

Translated by: Fischman, Sheila
Introduction by: Moore, Lisa
From the series: A List

The first volume in the beloved novelist Marie-Claire Blais’ prize-winning novel cycle — acclaimed as one of the greatest undertakings in modern Quebec fiction — reissued in a handsome A List edition, featuring an introduction by Lisa Moore.

Originally published in 1995 under the title Soifs, the first novel in Marie-Claire Blais’ masterful series won the Governor General’s Award for French Fiction and was hailed by critics around the world as a tour de force, comparing Blais to such literary greats as Virginia Woolf, Dante, Sophocles, and Shakespeare. In this dazzling rendering, These Festive Nights, celebrated translator Sheila Fischman brings Blais’ novel to life for English-speaking readers.

A sun-drenched paradise in the Gulf of Mexico surrounded by the glimmering blue sea; Renata is convalescing on this island poised between two worlds: between great wealth and extreme poverty, between the past and an uncertain future, between the beauty of the world and the horrors of history.

During her time here, Renata becomes tormented by thirst — for justice, for pleasure, for intoxication — while all around her, festivities are going on in joint celebration of the birth of baby Vincent and the end of the twentieth century. Over the course of three days and three nights a flock of characters assembles — an entire spectrum of humanity is depicted in the grip of doubt and suffering. In this swirling, baroque fresco, Marie-Claire Blais captures the essence of our apocalyptic age, rendering it in powerfully evocative prose.

The first volume in the beloved novelist Marie-Claire Blais’ prize-winning novel cycle — acclaimed as one of the greatest undertakings in modern Quebec fiction — reissued in a handsome A List edition, featuring an introduction by Lisa Moore.

Originally published in 1995 under the title Soifs, the first novel in Marie-Claire Blais’ masterful series won the Governor General’s Award for French Fiction and was hailed by critics around the world as a tour de force, comparing Blais to such literary greats as Virginia Woolf, Dante, Sophocles, and Shakespeare. In this dazzling rendering, These Festive Nights, celebrated translator Sheila Fischman brings Blais’ novel to life for English-speaking readers.

A sun-drenched paradise in the Gulf of Mexico surrounded by the glimmering blue sea; Renata is convalescing on this island poised between two worlds: between great wealth and extreme poverty, between the past and an uncertain future, between the beauty of the world and the horrors of history.

During her time here, Renata becomes tormented by thirst — for justice, for pleasure, for intoxication — while all around her, festivities are going on in joint celebration of the birth of baby Vincent and the end of the twentieth century. Over the course of three days and three nights a flock of characters assembles — an entire spectrum of humanity is depicted in the grip of doubt and suffering. In this swirling, baroque fresco, Marie-Claire Blais captures the essence of our apocalyptic age, rendering it in powerfully evocative prose.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc - Aug 7, 2018
Specifications pages | 5.5 in x 8.5 in
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Excerpt

Praise for Marie-Claire Blais and These Festive Nights: “Marie-Claire Blais’s best, and without a doubt, the richest and most impressive tableau d’époque I have read in a long time … Blais has modestly, generously, written The Divine Comedy of our time.” — Le Devoir “[These Festive Nights] resounds with what has become a Blais leitmotif: the spiritual thirst born of hardship, and the hunger for redemption in a brutal world.” — The Gazette “[In These Festive Nights] Marie-Claire Blais appeals to the best part of who we are. It’s a book that we finish reluctantly and with a deep sense of gratitude for the characters who, like the heroes of Sophocles and Shakespeare, are the messengers of a hidden truth of fundamental concern to the human heart.” — Magazine Littéraire