Numéro Cinq has published this week a review of Eucalyptus by Quebec writer Mauricio Segura, and an excerpt from the reviewed novel. While reviewer Benjamin Woodward poses the question “What is Home?”, the review caught my eye for two reasons. The first is that protagonist Alberto Ventura is a Chilean writer who leaves home (in Québec) for Chile because his father has died (another reason for writers to go abroad). The second is that my new year’s resolution last year was to find more writers from Québec for CWA.
Born in Temuco, Chile in 1969, Mauricio Segura arrived in Montréal at the age of five, immigrating to Québec with his parents. His doctorate in French Language and Literature from McGill University (2002) was preceded by the study of economics at the Université de Montréal. His first book was also published in translation by Biblioasis press: Black Alley in 2010 (Côte-des-Nègres, Montréal, Boréal, 1998). According to the Biblioasis author biography, Segura is well known in Québec “as a journalist and commentator on immigrant issues.” This could have to do in part with his participation in the Bouchard-Taylor Commission (2007-08), or his blog for the magazine L’Actualité, “Blogue de Montréal-Nord,” (2008-2009), or his role at Productions Pimiento. Most likely, however, he gained this reputation from his book on Quebec perceptions of Latin America, La Faucille et le condor. Le discours français sur l’Amérique latine (1950-1985), Montréal, Presses de l’Université de Montréal, coll. « Socius », 2005.
The translator of Eucalyptus, Donald Winkler, worked at the National Film Board for thirty years and took up literary translation in the 1980s. In his words: “Donald Winkler was born in Winnipeg in 1940, graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1961, and as a Woodrow Wilson Scholar, did graduate study at the Yale School of Drama. From 1967 to 1995 he was a film director and writer at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, and since the 1980s, a translator of Quebec literature: in 1994, 2011, and 2013 he won the Governor General’s Award for French to English translation. ” Read more at donaldwinkler.com.
Who is the reviewer? According to his site:
“Benjamin Woodard lives in Connecticut and holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His recent fiction has appeared in decomP magazinE, Cleaver Magazine, and Numéro Cinq Magazine. He is a staff member at Numéro Cinq Magazine and a regular contributor to Publishers Weekly and Rain Taxi Review of Books.”
And now the moment you have all been waiting for — the links to the review and the excerpt.
“What is Home?” Review of Eucalyptus by Mauricio Segura — Benjamin Woodard (Numero Cinq magazine January 2014; accessed 06/01/14).
Excerpt from Eucalyptus by Mauricio Segura (Numero Cinq magazine January 2014; accessed 06/01/14).
Read an extract of Eucalyptus en français (lactualite.com)
Bouchard-Taylor Commission highlights (canada.com)
Review of Black Alley (wordswithoutborders)
MRB review of Eucalyptus (mtlreviewofbooks.ca)
Biblioasis author page (biblioasis.com)
Quill and Quire review of Black Alley (quillandquire.com)