Quebec Studies

Book Reviews

Quebec Studies (2019), 67, (1), 177–194.

Abstract

Book Reviews Edited by Amy B. Reid BOOK REVIEWS Literature COLEMAN, PATRICK. Equivocal City: French and English Novels of Postwar Montreal. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018. Pp. 375. ISBN: 978-0-7735-5485-6. Patrick Coleman’s recently published book, Equivocal City, is a must-have for anyone interested in Canadian literature in English and/or French, and certainly a fascinating read for those of us who enjoy visiting (or living in) the city of Montréal. It is a book that can be read from cover to cover, as I did, or consulted as a background, in time and place, for new insight into some of the great Canadian writers you most enjoy. In any case, it is an important publication that you will want to have in your personal and institutional libraries. Coleman’s introduction provides an excellent summary of his project, obviously one enriched by research and teaching done over a number of years: This book offers a fresh approach to the Montreal novel by looking at French- and English-language fictions of the city in counterpoint with each other, not as speaking within separate literary traditions but as offering mutually illuminating examples of the kinds of story that could be written about the city at successive moments in its life. (3) The period covered extends from the closing days of the Second World War (Hugh MacLennan and Gabrielle Roy, of course, as well as Gwethalyn Graham and Françoise Loranger) through the 1950s (Morley Callaghan’s The Loved and the Lost [1951]), Roy’s Alexandre Chenevert [1954], MacLennan’s The Watch that Ends the Night [1958]), and continuing through the “more experimental novels” of Jacques Ferron and Leonard Cohen in the mid-1960s. Québec Studies, 67 https://doi.org/10.3828/qs.2019.11

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