This Country of Mine
Translation of the novel Ce pays qui est le mien by Didier Leclair
Deux Voiliers Publishing, Gatineau, 2018
Finalist for the 2019 Toronto Book Awards
Apollinaire, a doctor in his tropical African homeland, is working as a call centre agent in icy Toronto. Still seeing himself as a physician and hoping to obtain his licence to practise in Canada, he drives around at night in a borrowed taxicab, illegally treating the ill and injured, while leaving his loved ones behind. The people he visits include a violent countryman, an AIDS victim who uses a storm lantern for lighting, a former torturer who loves Scrabble, and a host of other characters striving to understand what life means in this new country, which is now their own.
“Didier Leclair’s beautifully written and realized novel, . . . imbued with a deep humanism, deserves a wide readership.” Montreal Review of Books
“Leclair . . . is unsparing in his depiction of the immigrant experience and the ways the social and political systems conspire to prevent newcomers from advancing.” Quill & Quire