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La Sagouine Paperback – Oct 26 2007
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"Grady's translation flows . . . smoothly, capturing the urgency of the character"s unschooled thoughts." — The Walrus (2013-01-09)
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La Sagouine, the legendary scrubwoman, leans on her mop and lets fly the fearless caricatures, the complaints to man and God, and the tender passion for land, sea, and family that have made her a cultural icon.See all Product Description
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The opening sentence immediately defines the character: "J'ai p'têt la face nouére, mais j'ai les mains blanches", or in English "I maybe got a black face, but I got white hands". Her dirty face indicates her low caste while her white hands represent her menial status as a washer woman and also symbolize her engaging honesty.
The original one-woman plays were created on stage by actress Viola Leger and were a staple of French Canadian television in the late 70s and early 80s.
In writing a dialect, Ms. Maillet surpasses, in my mind, Margaret Mitchell's black dialects in "Gone With The Wind" or Emily Bronte's Yorkshire dialect in "Wuthering Heights". The book is short but, in the original French at least, it is long to read because we can't speed read if we want to savour the rich sounds of Chiac.
Vincent Poirier, Tokyo