Montréal-based Baraka Books, an independent publisher of books that put the accent on Québec, is excited to build on its award-winning work of the past seven years with a bold new undertaking—the launch of a fiction imprint 100 percent devoted to Québec literature in translation.
“Our inspiration is dynamic presses like And Other Stories in England as well as Deep Vellum Press in Texas and Open Letter Books in New York,” said literary translator Peter McCambridge, who will run QC Fiction from Québec City. “If our books are mentioned alongside the quality fiction these international presses are putting out, we’ll be happy, all while putting the emphasis squarely on new Québec writers. We’ll be concentrating on doing one thing and doing it very well: putting out the best of contemporary Québec fiction in idiomatic, readable translations for the international market.
“We’ll also be getting younger translators involved, and are excited to be introducing fresh and first-time translators to the scene. To be honest, we’re hoping to help shake things up a little, and introduce readers to new voices, new authors, and new translators.”
Readers from Cape Breton to Cape Town to Cape Cod will be encouraged to subscribe to a year’s worth of novels from QC Fiction, with 3 to be published in 2016 and 4 more to come in 2017. QC Fiction books will be available individually direct from its website and will be distributed across North America by the Independent Publishers Group (IPG). Rights will also be available for other English-language markets.
QC Fiction’s first book of 2016 will be Life in the Court of Matane by Eric Dupont. In it, Dupont combines goings-on in small-town Québec (“not quite at the end of the world”) with affairs of state (letters from Leonid Brezhnev) as our narrator, Eric Dupont, grows up in the royal court ruled over by his father and his despotic second wife, all to mock-heroic effect. It’s a feast of a novel, as calorie-filled and decadent as it is irreverent, and the translation of the first chapter won the 2012 John Dryden Translation Prize.
Life in the Court of Matane will be followed by The Unknown Huntsman, a first novel by Jean-Michel Fortier, in early fall, with the inaugural season rounded out by another first novel, David Clerson’s Brothers, winner of the Grand prix littéraire Archambault 2014.