During this year’s translation residency at the Maison de la littérature in Quebec City, translator Katia Grubisic will spend the month of March 2021 working with Haitian-Québécoise writer Marie-Célie Agnant on the English translation of Femmes au temps des carnassiers, Marie-Célie’s most recent novel, forthcoming from Inanna Publications. Grubisic and Agnant will be supported in their work by the Toronto-based literary translator Janice Flavien, who grew up in the Caribbean.
As with most of Agnant’s previous work, Femmes au temps des carnassiers is preoccupied with colonial imposition and its weight specifically on women. The book locates the power of resistance in women, and in the pen. Based on the lived history of those who survived Duvalierism, Femmes au temps des carnassiers is a brutal, terrifying, and hopeful novel.
The translation residency at the Maison de la littérature is held in partnership with the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada (LTAC), with both organizations working toward fostering a space for close collaboration between two creators as they reimagine source texts in a new language. This year’s closing event will feature a conversation between the writer Marie-Célie Agnant and translator Katia Grubisic, who will be discussing challenges specific to their project with translator Janice Flavien. The event will be broadcast online on Thursday, April 15th at 5pm.
This year’s residents:
Katia Grubisic is a writer, editor and translator. She has taught at Bishop’s University and at Concordia University, coordinated the Atwater Poetry Project, and was editor-in-chief at Arc poetry magazine. She is frequently solicited as a member of literary juries, on consultative bodies, and as a book reviewer. Her collection of poems What if red ran out won the Gerard Lampert award for best first book. Recent book translations include Martine Delvaux’s White Out, and Stéphane Martelly’s Little Girl Gazelle. Her translation of David Clerson’s first novel, Brothers, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for translation.
Poet, short-story writer and novelist Marie-Célie Agnant was born in Haiti and moved to Quebec in 1970. She has published more than a dozen books, many of which deal with the hardships endured by women in the Antilles and the challenge of legitimizing this part of history even today. In her writing, Agnant explores the condition of women and our relationship to the past and to memory. Her writing is poetic and gives expression to the violence of post-colonial societies navigating between blatant misery and indecent opulence.
Alex Thibodeau, Communications Officer (she/her)
Maison de la littérature I festival Québec en toutes lettres
Alexander St-Laurent, LTAC Coordinator (he/him)