In the pocket – Number 130

In each edition of the journal booksellers, we offer a selection of books that slip easily into your pocket. Small price and small format, certainly, but great discoveries and beautiful feathers!

The other side of the pram: An outside look at motherhood and its excesses
Lucie Joubert, Alias, 192 pages, $13.95
Many books speak of the blind spots of motherhood, but rare are the voices that rise and address the “unused matrix”, which underline the refusal of the said motherhood of certain women, and this, despite the natalist discourse of Quebec society. . With a lively pen, which is in no way high-sounding, Lucie Joubert reflects on the pressure experienced by women who cannot have children, or those who choose not to have any. “I wrote this book to determine, for my personal understanding and for that of the women who may recognize themselves in these pages, what a strange insect I am and what place I can hope to occupy in an economy that is based on changing tables”, writes the essayist in the preface.

The cliffs
Virginie DeChamplain, BQ, 184 pages, $11.95
This first novel marked by filiation follows V., the narrator, who must return to Gaspésie, the corner of the country where she was born, when she has just learned of the death of her mother, spat out by the waters of the river. Saint Laurent. From then on, V. will undertake to reconstruct the gaps in her genealogy by hiding in the family home with her grandmother’s diaries as a refuge, which will give the young woman the missing bits of her story. Then it will be the trip to Iceland, a sort of pilgrimage towards a return to maternal origins and a possible liberation for V. This introspective tale rumbles with all the missed acts, encounters that could not be made, voices and faces forgotten. The elements — thunderous gusts, stormy waters — also carry this violence which echoes the anger that inhabits the character and which holds within it the promise of days of calm.

The other half of yourself
Brit Bennett (trans. Karine Lalechère), I read, 414 p., $16.95
Crowned with success, this work tells the story of three generations of women who are trying to take their place while one is trying to impose one on them. It’s hard to be yourself when you have to forget a part of yourself or be someone else. In a fictional town in northern Louisiana, mixed-race marriages take place in order to lighten the skin of descent and thus make black people increasingly white. This novel “dense, complex, formidable in its nuances which overlap and move away at the same time”, according to the bookseller Chantal Fontaine, speaks with sensitivity of identity, of the feminine condition, of transmission, of heritage, of constraints socialism, colorism and racism.

The daughter of the family
Louise Desjardins, Boreal, 200 p., $13.95
This touching novel depicts the life of a freedom-loving young woman, whose journey and emancipation we follow, from childhood to adulthood through adolescence, as she grows up surrounded by her brothers. . It is through his gaze and his scattered memories, remembered in no chronological order, that his story is told. These moments form a quilt, weave the portrait of a life. Over the years, the path taken by women has also become apparent. Even if this crossing is not without clashes, the latter are freed little by little, tired of obeying and of forgetting themselves, relieving themselves of the influence of men and of the Church…

Nickel Boys
Colson Whitehead (trans. Charles Recoursé), The Pocket Book, 260 p., $13.95
In the 1960s, in the United States, Elwood, a brilliant young black man who was about to enter university, finds himself in the Nickel Academy reformatory after a miscarriage of justice. In this terrifying place – inspired by an establishment that really existed in Florida and whose clandestine cemetery was discovered by an archeology team – atrocious abuse is inflicted on the residents. Always on the alert, Elwood strives to survive through this incredible cruelty. This tragic and powerful portrayal of racial segregation, black oppression and injustice won Colson Whitehead the Pulitzer Prize — an honor he also received for Underground Railroad. It is shocking, appalling and revolting.

Not even the sound of a river
Hélène Dorion, Viola, 192 p., $14.95
“Our roots run under the ground, invisible, impossible to dig up all of them. We can try to pull one out, hope that it will lead us to another that we can also extract, and so on until we perceive a meaning in this story that we call our life “, we read in Not even the sound of a river. With poetry and sensitivity, this magnificent novel probes the tumults and shipwrecks that punctuate existence, the invisible bonds that connect people to each other as well as the unfathomable mysteries of life. After her mother’s death, Hanna tries to understand why this woman often seemed absent from her own life. She undertakes to reclaim her story, because that of her mother inevitably echoes hers, even in an elusive way.

21 lessons for the XXIand century
Yuval Noah Harari (trans. Pierre-Emmanuel Dauzat), The Pocket Book, 570 p., $15.95
The historian and author of Sapiens and Homo-deus dissects here the XXIand century and its contemporary challenges by reflecting on the major issues that concern humanity, including topics such as the risks of nuclear war, ecological disaster, terrorism and artificial intelligence. This brilliant and highly relevant essay couldn’t be more timely with questions like, “Why is liberal democracy in crisis?” », « Are we at the dawn of a new world war? », « What to do in the face of the epidemic of fake news? », « Which civilization dominates the world: the West, China or Islam? An enlightening read.

The lying life of adults
Elena Ferrante (trans. Elsa Damien), Folio, 432 p., $16.95
The novels of Elena Ferrante are very successful and this one is no exception: a series adaptation is already planned on Netflix. The lying life of adults tells the story of Giovanna, a teenager living in Naples in the beautiful neighborhoods. The latter undertakes to learn more about her aunt, who lives in the poorest part of town, and to whom her parents have compared her. While forging her identity, Giovanna discovers another universe and is confronted with the disillusionment as well as the hypocrisy of the adults, their lies. “Combining with tact psychological depth, simplicity of form and feminist fervor, Ferrante hits hard here again. A little jewel as sharp as a knife, ”said Elsa Pépin, columnist between our pages.

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In the pocket – Number 130