Canada Reads @ SAPL – Suzanne

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Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette

Eighty-five years of art and history through the eyes of a woman who fled her family – as re-imagined by her granddaughter.

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette never knew her mother’s mother. Curious to understand why her grandmother, Suzanne, a sometime painter and poet associated with Les Automatistes, a movement of dissident artists that included Paul-Émile Borduas, abandoned her husband and young family, Barbeau-Lavalette hired a private detective to piece together Suzanne’s life.

Suzanne, the winner of the Prix des libraires du Québec and a bestseller in French, is a fictionalized account of Suzanne’s life over eighty-five years, from Montreal to New York to Brussels, from lover to lover, through an abortion, alcoholism, Buddhism, and an asylum. It takes readers through the Great Depression, Québec’s Quiet Revolution, women’s liberation, and the American civil rights movement, offering a portrait of a volatile, fascinating woman on the margins of history. And it’s a granddaughter’s search for a past for herself, for understanding and forgiveness. (Publisher)

CBC Canada Reads

The Running Woman. Montreal Review of Books

Suzanne.Three Percent

She was a Rebel. Yanic Truesdale & Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette discuss her runaway grandmother.

Total Refusal: Refus Global, the Manifesto of the Montréal Automatists