Travels With an Umbrella by Louis Gauthier , Translated by Linda Leith
Finalist for QWF Translation Prize in 2001
A romantic young writer who is weary of his routine existence in Montreal and reeling from the pain of a doomed love affair sets off for Ireland, which he believes will be lush and mystical. It will be foreign, too, of course, but friendly, and there he will not only confront the banality of his life, but perhaps catch a glimpse of eternity.
It isn’t quite what he expected. The Irish are leery of strangers, few cars stop for a lone hitchhiker, and Ireland turns out not to be lush, but simply wet. He despairs of the unceasing rain. When you are truly alone, he decides, an umbrella is a perfect companion.
His feet get soaked, but his humour remains dry as he travels from village to village, searching for what he knows he will never find. And that’s when he discovers the real Ireland.
A ironic meditation on love and loss, fiction and life, time and eternity, Travels with an Umbrella is the very first of Louis Gauthier’s critically acclaimed novels to appear in English.
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