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 2004 Governor General’s Award for French-language fiction
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