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Charlevoix County, 1930 by Jori Smith

Finalist for The Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction in 1999

Finalist for First Book Prize in 1999


Charlevoix County, 1930 is the memoir of Jori Smith. At that time, married to Jean Palardy, who became an expert on antique furniture of Quebec, she was among many artists who visited Charlevoix, including A.Y. Jackson, Edwin Holgate, George Pepper, Kathleen Daly, Stanley Cosgrove, and Marius Barbeau. Unlike the others, she and Palardy actually wintered in Charlevoix, and from that experience were able to study their subjects candidly.

Arriving as a 23-year-old painter and speaking little French, Jori quickly adapted to the bohemian life and the wonderful beauty of the country. Boarding with different families in the concessions, she became intimate with the county and its inhabitants. This memoir—and the accompanying reproductions of some of her and Jean Palardy’s paintings, and ancillary work by Stanley Cosgrove and Simone Mary Bouchard—is a compelling narrative of that experience.

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Penumbra Press

Kapuskasing, Ontario