Marie-Claire Blais: Illuminations

Marie-Claire Blais: Illuminations

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60 minutes


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English and French with English subtitles

Also availabe in French as Au-delà des apparences: portrait de Marie-Claire Blais

Ever since she burst onto the literary scene at barely 20 years of age, Marie-Claire Blais has been a commanding presence on the literary scene both in Canada and internationally. An immediate sensation, she gained the attention of influential American critic Edmund Wilson, who declared "Mlle. Blais is a true phenomenon; she may possibly be a genius." With the 1965 publication of Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel, the literary world agreed whole-heartedly and Blais received the prestigious Prix Médicis, the Prix France-Québec and the first of three Governor General's awards.

Marie-Claire Blais: Illuminations is a rare glimpse into the private world of this enigmatic figure-from her formative years in Catholic Québec before the Quiet Revolution, her early success and heady creative days in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to her still prolific output 50 years into an astonishing career. With over 20 novels published, many of them focusing on the individual's struggle to come to terms with society's hostility and violence, Blais enjoys a broad readership in both French and English. Writers Margaret Atwood and Antonine Maillet, playwright Jacques Crête, critic Marie Couillard and many other artists testify to the power of her work and its enduring relevance. Blais herself comments on her motivations and concerns, as well as her commitment to supporting young writers.

Frequently compared to William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce for the discipline and vigour of her work, Blais continues to illuminate the darker side of human nature and the chaos of our times.

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