Sacre Blues : An Unsentimental Journey Through Quebec

Sacre Blues : An Unsentimental Journey Through Quebec

Book - 2000
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Random House, Inc.
Winner of the 2000 Quebec Writers' Federation First Book Award and the Mavis Gallant Prize for Nonfiction

A hip, enlightening portrait of a place most Canadians find baffling: Quebec without the politics.

Why do three million Quebecers tune in the same absurd sitcom every week? How did they get the nickname "pepsis"? Why does Celine Dion put on a down-home accent when she returns to her home province?

For referendum-weary English Canadians, Quebec is an enigma wrapped in a yawn. Taras Grescoe treats the province as an exotic destination. He takes readers onto the shuffleboard courts of Florida, to a francophone country-and-western festival in rural Mauricie, to the café tables of expatriate Quebecers in Paris. He deconstructs a Montreal Canadiens hockey game, explores the stunning diversity of Quebec’s newspapers, and dismantles Bombardier snowmobiles. En route, he meets Mohawk Warriors, Yiddish-speaking French Canadians, and the UFO-obsessed followers of Raël.

Informed and incisive, Sacré Blues explores the heart of contemporary Quebec: its love-hate relationship with France and the United States; the dance, theatre, and literary productions celebrated in Europe but little known here; its fears about distinctness on an increasingly uniform continent. Along the way we meet such Quebec residents as the playwright Michel Tremblay and the novelist Neil Bissoondath, Teleglobe CEO Charles Sirois and the arctic explorer Bernard Voyer, the foul-mouthed columnist Pierre Foglia and the esteemed philosopher Charles Taylor.

Sacré Blues serves up a spicy, irreverent, inside view of this unique and little-known part of North America. With side orders of poutine, maple syrup, and Vachon snack cakes. And scarcely a mention of Lucien Bouchard.

Publisher: Macfarlane Walker & Ross, 2000
Edition: 1st
ISBN: 9781551990484
Characteristics: 315 p. index ; cm


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Mar 27, 2013

The author seems devoid of any real knowledge of Canadian history, but struggles ahead anyways. Transferring his BC leanings to Quebec, and his assumptions without notes, references as truths is not a good way to write a book. Many instances, smallpox, native aborginal issues are fantasies. However he does capsulate the coming of age of Quebeckers, sort of what is now happening with native aboriginals (hopefully) and happens so many times in history. Not a very balanced view of history though

Dec 07, 2009

The most comprehensive book on Qu├ębecois culture I have read to date.

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