mariaMaria Chapdelaine by Louis Hemon and W.H. Blake is another book I discovered while reading about Kerouac.  The author, Louis Hemon was born in France and educated in Paris.  Blake translated the book from its original French. This is a beautiful, moving, non-fiction book written by the author during his time in Quebec living and working among French-Canadians.

It took me a while to get into this book, but the end found me with tears in my eyes.  The story centers on a family living and working on their farm in remote northern Quebec during the 1920’s.  It is a story of hardship, but at the same time, it speaks of great courage, tradition, love of God and nature.  The novel lovingly captures the spirit of the French-Canadian farmers and was of personal interest to Kerouac because his family came from French-Canada.

This story touched my heart and I wonder what other beautiful tales might have come from Hemon had he not met with a tragic end in a railway accident soon after this book was written.  He was in his early 30’s.  A great loss.

About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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2 Responses to Endurance

  1. wow, I read this book in French a few decades ago, and loved it a lot

  2. dianeledet says:

    Wonderful! I wish I knew French well enough to do the same! I’m guessing the book was even more beautiful in the original language. Thanks for your comment!

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