Home Authors

Nicole and Émile Martel

Yann Martel’s father, Émile Martel, is a poet and short story writer whose book, Pour orchestre et poète seul, won the Governor General’s Award for French-language poetry in 1995. Émile and Nicole were pursuing post-graduate studies in Salamanca, Spain, when Yann Martel was born in 1963. About a month after his birth they moved to Coimbra, Portugal, where his father took Portuguese language lessons for five or six weeks. From 1963 to 1965 the family lived in Alaska, where his father taught French and Spanish literature. First his father then his mother joined what was then the Department of Foreign Affairs and is now Global Affairs Canada. The Martels lived in Costa Rica (1969-1971) and France (1972-1975). rnrnÉmile and Nicole Martel are Yann’s translators, having translated Life of Pi into French (L’Histoire de Pi, Montréal-London: XYZ éditeur, 2003), Béatrice et Virgile (Montréal: XYZ éditeur, 2010), and the letters sent to Harper. In the Introduction to What is Stephen Harper Reading? Yann thanks his parents: “They are true citizens of the arts, and to them I owe not only love but gratitude. If I love to read and write, it is because they showed me by example.”

Books translated by Nicole and Émile Martel