It’s Late, Doctor Schweitzer
Co-translation of the first chapter of the novel Ce pays qui est le mien by Didier Leclair, published in carte blanche in Winter 2014
Recipient of the 3Macs carte blanche Prize, awarded once a year in recognition of an outstanding submission by a Quebec writer, artist or translator
“On the east side of the city, in an apartment on Sutton Street, an exhausted couple lay sleeping. Apollinaire Mavoungou and his wife Adèle lived in a tiny furnished basement with their baby. Their slumberous faces were those of depleted souls relishing the respite from the toil of everyday living. None of them had moved for hours, not even unconsciously into a more comfortable position. Their utter stillness and worn-out covers reflected a stark, almost sickly need for night to extend beyond the arbitrary border of day. Their motionless figures in the hollow silence of the basement begged darkness to continue, the snow to keep on dusting the bowels of the city, and the stars to go on shining for the weary of spirit.”
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“It’s Late, Doctor Schweitzer is visual, visceral, quick and heart-catching. It captures a network of new immigrants to the cold, dark city of Toronto who are living on the verge of poverty, shifting from job to job, sleep deprived and restless. In this translation, these sometimes vulnerable, sometimes violent relationships are rendered with compassion and masterful craftsmanship.” Lisa Moore, juror of the 2014 3Macs carte blanche Prize