"Grady's translation flows . . . smoothly, capturing the urgency of the character"s unschooled thoughts." — The Walrus
From the Inside Flap
"So maybe I do have a bit of dirt on my face and my skin's all cracked, but at least my hands are clean! They ought to be, I've had them in water long enough." La Sagouine, Antonine Maillet's famous Acadian scrubwoman, leans on her mop and tells her story. And what a story!
At seventy-two, the former part-time prostitute is still dirt-poor; of her twelve babies, only the three born in the summer have survived. One tale leads to another: La Saguoine reminisces, rants, and prognosticates about the moon landing, her husband Gapi, the priest and his church, the rich for whom she cleans, and her impoverished friends and relatives, all the while telling the story of Acadie itself.
In La Sagouine, Maillet first gave written form to the language of Acadie, a language which, she says, has been "distorted by the climate and sharpened by the sea; by the salty air in the larynx and the obsessive beating of the waves in the ears." Her scrubwoman gave disenfranchised Acadians an authentic voice and established Maillet as a writer of international stature.
In this sensitive new translation, Wayne Grady brings out the cultural richness of La Sagouine's speech as well as the legendary old scrubwoman's strength of character and irrepressible humour.