The Island of Books
2018 Longlist

The Island of Books

Translated from the French by Rhonda Mullins
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

A rich portrait of the beauty of words – painted by a 15th-century illiterate scribe.

A 15th-century portrait painter, grieving the sudden death of his lover, takes refuge at the monastery at Mont Saint-Michel, an island off the coast of France. He haunts the halls until a monk assigns him the task of copying a manuscript – though he is illiterate. His work slowly heals him and continues the tradition that had, centuries earlier, grown the monastery’s library into a beautiful city of books, all under the shadow of the invention of the printing press.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Dominique
Fortier

Dominique Fortier is an editor and translator living in Outremont, Quebec. Her first novel, On the Proper Use of Stars, was nominated for a Governor General’s Award, and Au péril de la mer won the Governor General’s Award for French fiction. She is the author of five books, two of which have been translated into English.

Dominique Fortier is an editor and translator living in Outremont, Quebec. Her first novel, On the Proper Use of Stars, was nominated for a Governor General’s Award, and Au péril de la mer won the Governor General’s Award for French fiction. She is the author of five books, two of which have been translated into English.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Rhonda
Mullins

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montréal. She received the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Twenty-One Cardinals, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Les héritiers de la mine. And the Birds Rained Down, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was a CBC Canada Reads Selection. It was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, as were her translations of Élise Turcotte’s Guyana and Hervé Fischer’s The Decline of the Hollywood Empire.

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montréal. She received the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Twenty-One Cardinals, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Les héritiers de la mine. And the Birds Rained Down, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was a CBC Canada Reads Selection. It was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, as were her translations of Élise Turcotte’s Guyana and Hervé Fischer’s The Decline of the Hollywood Empire.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Dominique Fortier offers here a very delicate and personal book, trying to catch the spirit of such a magnificent place as the Mont St-Michel. The novel is a tribute to books and freedom.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
08/11/2016
Country
Canada
Original Language
French
Publisher
Coach House Books
Translator
Rhonda Mullins
Translation
Translated from the French by Rhonda Mullins

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