David Homel in the Writing Community of Quebec

Type of resource
David Homel in the Writing Community of Quebec
The author examines the career of American-born Montreal translator, fiction writer, journalist and film maker David Homel (b. 1952), and the controversy in 2006 as to whether he qualifies as a "Quebec" writer. The controversy erupted within French Quebec's literary community when Homel suggested in the Paris daily Le Monde that Quebec writing in French is a quiet literature that doesn't travel well. The family and its secrets, self-discovery, the difficulties of a child growing up – these are themes that appeal to women, who just happen to make up the greatest proportion of Quebec readers, Homel wrote in the French newspaper. Homel has translated over 30 books, many by Quebec authors. He won the Governor General's Literary Award in translation in 1995 for Why Must a Black Writer Write About Sex? by Dany Laferrière; his translation of Laferrière's How to Make Love to a Negro was nominated in 1988; and he won the prize in 2001 with fellow translator Fred A. Reed for Fairy Wing. The author points out that cultural identity and belonging are persistent themes in Homel's own fiction and essays, but are usually approached from an ironic perspective. His characters are often shunned, or even seek to avoid association with any group, sometimes for purposes of survival. With that in mind, the author writes that one might argue that his acceptance or non-acceptance as a "Quebec" writer may be a matter of sardonic amusement rather than concern.
Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d'études canadiennes
Vol. 46
no. 3
Fall 2012
Ellenwood, Ray. “David Homel in the Writing Community of Quebec.” Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d’études canadiennes Vol. 46, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 158–169.
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