Translator: Sheila Fischman

Information about the translator.

Works

Book:Ru (Kim Thúy)

Ru: A Novel

Kim Thúy, Sheila Fischman

At ten years old, Kim Thúy fled Vietnam on a boat with her family, leaving behind a grand house and the many less tangible riches of their home country: the ponds of lotus blossoms, the songs of soup-vendors.The family arrived in Quebec, where they found clothes at the flea market, and mattresses with actual fleas. Kim learned French and English, and as she grew older, seized what opportunities an immigrant could; she put herself through school picking vegetables and sewing clothes, worked as a lawyer and interpreter, and later as a restaurateur. She was married and a mother when the urge to write struck her, and she found herself scribbling words at every opportunity-pulling out her notebook at stoplights and missing the change to green. The story emerging was one of a Vietnamese émigré on a boat to an unknown future: her own story fictionalized and crafted into a stunning novel.

The novel’s title, Ru, has meaning in both Kim’s native and adoptive languages: in Vietnamese, ru is…[more]

Book:The Perfect Circle

The Perfect Circle

Pascale Quiviger, Sheila Fischman

Marianne, a young Montrealer, has come to live in Tuscany to draw and write and examine her life. Here she meets Marco, a temptingly seductive man who still lives in his mother’s house in the village and who’s not prepared to commit himself to anything resembling a shared life. Though he breaks her heart, again and again, Marianne can only avoid him by returning to Canada.

This first novel by Pascale Quiviger is marked by its luminous language and its unstinting look at what makes Marianne, and Marco, and, indeed, an entire village and the world beyond it, tick.

Book:Am I Disturbing You? A Novel

Am I Disturbing You?: A Novel

Anne Hébert, Sheila Fischman

This is the story of Édouard, Stéphane, and the spirited girl they find alone and apparently lost in Paris. When the two men offer the young Quebec girl shelter for the night, their lives are profoundly and irrevocably changed. Stéphane falls quickly for Delphine, but Édouard, a man without expectations who hides from the world in a life of mediocrity and whose only desire is to live and die quietly, is slower to accept her. He is disturbed by Delphine’s abrupt arrival in his life, her strange accent, her excessive passion. Then, just as he opens himself to her exuberance and vulnerability, he is torn violently from her and left to unravel the mysteries of her sudden presence and absence.

Anne Hébert’s fifth novel in translation (originally published under the title Est-ce que je te dérange?) springs from a place between dream and reality, and offers a disturbing look into the workings of fascination and obsession. Tortured love, broken childhoods, and the forces of nature and death are woven into this extraordinary, poetic tale from one of Canada’s most important writers.

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