In Naomi Fontaine’s Governor General’s Literary Award finalist, a young teacher’s return to her remote Innu community transforms the lives of her students through the redemptive power of art, reminding us of the importance of hope in the face of despair.
After fifteen years of exile, Yammie, a young Innu woman, returns to her home in the Uashat nation on Quebec’s North Shore. She has come back to teach language and drama at the community’s school, but finds a community stalked by despair. Yammie will do anything to rescue her students. When she accepts a position directing the end-of-year play, she sees an opportunity for the youth to take charge of themselves.
In writing both spare and polyphonic, Naomi Fontaine honestly portrays a year of Yammie’s teaching and of the lives of her students, dislocated, abandoned, and ultimately, possibly, triumphant. English, Translated from: French
NAOMI FONTAINE is a member of the Innu Nation of Uashat and a graduate of the Université de Laval. Her first novel, Kuessipan, was made into a feature film that debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019. Manikanetish was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards and ICI-Radio Canada’s “Combat des livres.”
LUISE VON FLOTOW is a translator of French and German literature. She is a professor at the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa.