The Immaculate Conception
infobox Book |
name = "The Immaculate Conception"
title_orig = L'Immaculée conception
translator = Lazer Lederhendler
image_caption = First edition cover
language = English translation of original French
publisher = House of Anansi Press
April 28 2006
media_type = Print (
pages = 320 pp
isbn = ISBN 0-88784-736-6
followed_by = :"This article is about the novel by Gaétan Soucy. For the Christian dogma regarding the immaculate conception of Mary, Mother of Jesus, see Immaculate Conception."
"The Immaculate Conception" is the English
translationby Lazer Lederhendlercite book | title=The Immaculate Conception| url=http://www.amazon.com/Immaculate-Conception-Gaetan-Soucy/dp/0887847366| last=Soucy | first=Gaétan | coauthors=translated from the French by Lederhendler, Lazer| date= 2006-04-28| pages=336 | publisher=House of Anansi Press| location= Toronto, Ontario| id=ISBN 0-88784-736-6 ] of Gaétan Soucy's French novel, "L'Immaculée conception", first published in 1994.Cite web|url=http://www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/home.htm|title=Author Vincent Lam Wins the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize|accessdate=2006-12-01|publisher=The Scotiabank Giller Prize|year= 2006-11-07] The novel was a finalist for the 2006 Canada Council for the Arts Governor General’s Literary Awards,Cite web|url=http://www.canadacouncil.ca/news/releases/2006/jo128049818717963491.htm|title=The Canada Council for the Arts announces finalists for the 2006 Governor General’s Literary Awards|accessdate=2006-12-01|publisher=Canada Council for the Arts|year= 2006-10-16|work=News Releases - 2006] one of five books shortlisted for the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize— Canada's largest annual prize for fiction—and was also one of four novels nominated for the 2006 ReLit Awards.Cite web|url=http://therelitawards.blogspot.com/|title=2006 Shortlists: Novel|accessdate=2006-12-01|publisher=The ReLit Awards|year= 2006-05-31]
Author and translator
The author of several novels, Canadian Gaétan Soucy's first novel, "L'Immaculée conception", received rave reviews—both in Quebec and abroad—and established him "as a powerful new literary force in Quebec". Soucy studied physics at
l’Université de Montréal, and took a Master's degree in philosophyat McGill University, where he also studied Japanese and literature. He lives and works in Montreal, Quebec.
In addition to the 2006 Governor General’s Literary Awards, Lazer Lederhendler is the translator of two other books nominated for the award. "The Sparrow Has Cut The Day In Half", his French to English translation of Claire Dé's "Bonheur, oiseau rare",cite book | title=The Sparrow Has Cut The Day In Half | url=http://www.amazon.com/Sparrow-Has-Cut-Day-Half/dp/1550961500/| last=Dé| first=Claire| coauthors=translated from the French by Lederhendler, Lazer| date=
1998-01-15| pages=148 | publisher=Exile Editions| location= Toronto, Ontario| id=ISBN 1-55096-150-0 ] was one of the five nominees for the 1999 Governor General’s Literary Award for "Translation (French to English)",Cite web|url=http://www.canadacouncil.ca/news/releases/1999/xb127243792098125000.htm|title=The Canada Council for the Arts Announces Nominees for the 1999 Governor General's Literary Awards|accessdate=2006-12-01|publisher=Canada Council for the Arts|year= 1999-10-19|work=News Releases - <2000] and his translation of Pierre Tourangeau's "Larry Volt"cite book | title=Larry Volt| url=http://www.amazon.com/Larry-Volt-Tidelines-Pierre-Tourangeau/dp/0968816649/| last=Tourangeau| first=Pierre| authorlink= | coauthors=translated from the French by Lederhendler, Lazar| date= 2001-10-01| pages=232| publisher=XYZ Publishing| location= Montreal, Quebec| id=ISBN 0-9688166-4-9] was one of the finalists for the same award in 2002.Cite web|url= http://www.canadacouncil.ca/news/releases/1999/xb127243792098125000.htm|title=The Canada Council for the Arts Announces Nominees for the 1999 Governor General's Literary Awards|accessdate=2006-12-01|publisher=Canada Council for the Arts|year= 2002-10-21|work=News Releases - 2002] He teaches English in Montreal.
"The Immaculate Conception" has been described as echoing "the writing of
Edgar Allan Poeand Fyodor Dostoevsky" and illuminating the "sublime, the uncanny, and the horrific that burns at the core of ordinary lives".Cite web|url=http://www.anansi.ca/titles.cfm?pub_id=283|title=The Canada Council for the Arts Announces Nominees for the 1999 Governor General's Literary Awards|accessdate=2006-12-01|publisher=House of Anansi Press|work=The Immaculate Conception] Set in the mid-1920s in the isolated, working-class parish of "Nativité" in East-end Montreal, the novel chronicles the aftermath of a deadly fire—75 people die when a neighborhood restaurant is burned to the ground by an arsonist.
The cast of characters includes a
pianist, mortician, bank clerk, a clubfooted schoolteacher, demonic fire chief, demented lumberjack, and the bank clerk's wheelchair-bound father. In spite of (or because of) the characters' oddities, they become nearly cartooncharacters—extremely memorable stereotypes.Cite web|url=http://www.rabble.ca/reviews/review.shtml?x=45688|title=Justifiable force: If a writer's going to hit you in the gut, they'd better have a good reason|accessdate=2006-12-01|publisher=www.rabble.ca, © Zwarenstein, Carlyn |author=Zwarenstein, Carlyn |work=book lounge reviews: fiction] Chronicling the "ordinary" lives after the inferno, the story gradually reveals a series of horrific events from the clerk's childhood and ultimately the reader is reminded that some crimes will forever remain secrets.
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