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The Faerie Devouring by Catherine Lalonde , Translated by Oana Avasilichioaei

Winner of QWF Translation Prize in 2019


A modern-day fable and feminist bildungsroman, The Faerie Devouring tells the story of the sprite, her absent mother (who dies in childbirth), and a brood of fatherless boys all raised by Gramma, a stalwart matriarch and wicked faerie godmother. From her rural childhood with its crudeness and toil to an urban rebellion with its glittering pleasures, the sprite struggles with and ultimately overcomes the burden of genealogy. A literary spell cast by the daring and critically-acclaimed Quebecois author Catherine Lalonde and reimagined by the award-winning poet and translator Oana Avasilichioaei, this feral incantation comes alive through disenchantment, desire, phantasmagoria, defiant imagination, and unruly language.


La dévoration des fées

Elle le dit au début, quand fut au commencement le verbe, quand furent les tout premiers mots, les premiers qu’elle ouït de sa vie. Cruelle parole d’or, d’évangile, inscrite à la migraine, don inaugural de marraine Carabosse infusé magiquement par doigts de fée doigts de dame : cinq mots, cinq, comme poison à l’oreille, comme oiselle de malheur, plombés, prophétiques, oraculaires ; poudre de perlimpinpin et tout le bataclan, et en son cœur noir un futur fuseau acéré.

The Faerie Devouring

She said it from the get-go, when in the beginning was the word, when the very first words existed, the first she hearkened to in her life. Cruel precious revelations, gospel truths, migraine inducing, inaugural gift of the wicked faerie godmother magically brewed by faerie fingers ladyfingers: five words, five, like poison in the ear, like fledglings of misfortune, ponderous, prophetic, oracular; snake oil liniment and the whole kit and caboodle, and in her black heart a future spindle sharpened.

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