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author's story (SO fun to get to know them) & the story behind their book.
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Let's get to know the fabulous Canadian women behind the fiction novel A Knife in the Skye.
To honour and to celebrate Black History Month it was such an honour to speak with the lovely and inspiring prize-winning Haitian-Québécoise author, Marie-Célie Agnant and translator Katia Grubisic, who is also an award-winning writer and editor.
Marie-Célie Agnant Background
Marie-Célie Agnant is a poet, short story writer, young adult fiction writer, storyteller, and novelist, Marie-Célie Agnant was born in Haiti and has lived in Québec since 1970.
Many of her books evoke the hardships endured by women in the West Indies and the difficulty of legitimizing this part of history even today. Her work has been published in Québec, France, and Haiti, and translated into several languages.
Her novel Le dot de Sara (Remue-Ménage, 1995) was a finalist for the Desjardins prize, her collection of short stories Le silence comme le sang (Remue-Ménage, 1997) was a finalist for the Governor General’s prize for fiction, and she has won the Prix Gros Sel for her children’s book La légende du poisson amoureux (Mémoire d’encrier, 2003), the prose creation prize awarded by the SODEP for “Sofialorène, si loin de la délivrance,” and the prestigious Prix Alain-Grandbois for her third collection of poems Femmes des terres brûlées (Éditions de la Pleine Lune, 2016).
Katia Grubisic Background
Katia Grubisic's work has appeared in various Canadian and international publications including The Walrus, The Fiddlehead, The Globe and Mail, Grain, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Fire.
Her collection What if red ran out (Goose Lane Editions, 2008) was shortlisted for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and won the 2009 Gerald Lampert award for best first book.
Her book translations include Louis Patrick Leroux’s play False Starts: A Subterfuge of Excellent Wit (with Alexandre St-Laurent; Talonbooks, 2016), Martine Delvaux’s White Out (LLP, 2018), Jeanne Painchaud’s ABCMTL (ruelle, 2019), Stéphane Martelly’s Little Girl Gazelle (ruelle, 2020), Ioana Georgescu’s Daughterof Here (LLP, 2020), and Marie-Claire Blais’s Songs for Angel (House of Anansi, 2021). Her translations of David Clerson’s first novel, Brothers (QC Fiction, 2016), and of Alina Dumitrescu’s A Cemetery for Bees (LLP, 2021) were shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for translation.
The Story Behind A Knife in the Sky
In A Knife in the Sky, a journalist’s decision to talk and a student’s desire to know puts them in the crosshairs of a murderous dictatorship. As the novel opens, Mika is dangerously engaged in the pursuit of truth during Haiti’s first Duvalier regime.
Nearly thirty years later, her granddaughter Junon witnesses the repressive dynasty’s unravelling. Brutal, terrifying, and hopeful, A Knife in the Sky is an homage to those who have survived tyranny.
Originally published by Éditions du Remue-ménage in 2015 as Femmes au temps des carnassiers, this book, like most of the author’s oeuvre, is preoccupied with colonial imposition. Marie-Célie Agnant writes on the ruthlessness of a dictatorship, on humanity, and locates the strength and power of resistance in women.
Don't miss Marie-Célie share how real life Haitian journalist Yvonne Hakim Rimpel was the inspiration behind this novel.
Thanks SO much for watching. A BIG merci beaucoup to Marie-Célie Agnant and Katia Grubisic .
Stay tuned for new episodes, they're posted on Tuesday's and Thursday's, the 2nd and 4th week of every month.
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