Quebec Studies

Creating a Franco-America for the New Millennium: Normand Beaupré’s La Souillonne

Quebec Studies (2016), 61, (1), 3–18.

Abstract

This article responds to the charge recently made by some social historians that Franco-Americans no longer exist as a real community. Without denying that an older definition of communal identity has disappeared, this close look at Norman Beaupré’s dramatic monologue La Souillonne highlights the ways in which the text creates an alternative definition of Franco-American identity. This identity is rooted not in the traditional markers of language, religion, and shared geography, but rather in a community of memory shaped by the telling and retelling of stories, thus creating a new Franco-America. La Souillonne highlights the role of women as culture-bearers and creates a mental and emotional landscape of shared memories that today’s Franco-Americans – no longer predominantly French-speaking and necessarily practicing Catholics, and now far removed from the immediacy of the immigrant experience – can appropriate and onto which they can map their own family stories.

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Author details

Blood, Elizabeth

Duclos-Orsello, Elizabeth