A year to read the writings of female

Une année à lire des écrits féminins

For a year, the writer and translator quebec Daniel Grenier has accepted a challenge proposed by his publisher, Mélanie Vincelette : only read books written by women. He shared the fruit of this experience very rewarding in a newspaper of reading fascinating, The Studded.

“I started by offering him books are very female that I was certain that he was going to hate it : the cartoonist Swedish Liv Strömquist, Suzanne Myre, who is a figure of the “woman hard” in quebec literature, and Valerie Solanas, who shot Andy Warhol. Results in this delightful book journal “, written by Mélanie Vincelette, in a small memo.

Daniel Grenier, good player, did not hesitate a minute to take on the challenge and started reading. He shares in The Scattered reflection on his position of white male privileged, on the fiction versus fiction. He speaks of the resurgence of indigenous voices, the place of women’s bodies in the literature.

Daniel Grenier said that he had already a practice joint. “I was making an effort for a few years to read consciously as many women as men. For a literary like me, who reads a lot, it is normal to choose a little in advance of all the books that you will read. It was up a good list of more accurate reading than usual. But there has been no torture ! ” he says with a sense of humor.

He saw a difference between the authors, male and female ? “One realizes, in reading a lot of women, that this is a difference of constraints in writing. It is the way in which women were prevented both to write and to speak, and prevented from addressing certain subjects, which makes the subjects more “female” seem to have been more discussed by women, such as intimacy, the home, the home, domesticity. “

He continues. “These subjects were supposedly considered to be female subjects, while in the background, what are the constraints of writing that women have had for hundreds of years. “

It was squarely in the publishing contracts, he says. “It is interesting to see how the great writers manage to work around, in a subtle way, stresses the editorial and contractual obligations to make works that are universal and interesting, beyond what they were supposed to deliver as a commodity. “

It gives as an example The four daughters of dr. March, of Louisa May Alcott. “It is a great novel about family, about war, about full of universal themes, but in 1850, she had a publishing contract that specified very clearly that it was supposed to do a book for the education of young girls. It is interesting to see how it is dépatouille with all of that in order to transcend this constraint. “

Some writers, like Virginia Woolf, have made a difference. “His influence is very great, both on the public, because it is read many, but his influence is great on the freedom that the writers have given themselves. Simone de Beauvoir also, of course, that has had an influence extremely important, in the 20th century, for the right to speak as women arrogated to themselves. “He is also thinking of the american writer Gertrude Stein, for his influence on modernism in literature.

  • Daniel Grenier is a writer and translator.
  • His first novel, The year the longest, won the literary Prize of college students. He has also published the novel, Françoise last.
  • He lives in Quebec.


Daniel Grenier, Editions Marchand de feuilles
600 pages”>

The Scattered
Daniel Grenier, Editions Marchand de feuilles
600 pages

The snow melts slowly in the streets of Quebec. The air warms up after a month of April, as usual, full of false promises. My daily happiness, that of the morning reading is punctuated by the exclamations of joy of my son, a piece of bagel in his mouth at the sight of the sun which pierces through the cloud layer. “

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