Governor General’s Literary Awards

Birds of a Kind, translated by Linda Gaboriau

Birds of a Kind

Translated by Linda Gaboriau

Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by UTP Distribution; translation of Tous des oiseaux by Wajdi Mouawad, published by Leméac/Actes Sud-Papiers


A terrorist attack in Jerusalem puts Eitan, a young Israeli-German genetic researcher, in a coma, while his girlfriend Wahida, a Moroccan graduate student, is left to uncover his family secret, which is what brought them to Israel in the first place. Since Eitan’s parents erupted at a Passover meal when they realized Wahida was not Jewish, he has harboured a suspicion about his heritage that, if true, could change everything.

In this sweeping new drama from the prolific Wajdi Mouawad, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hits close to home as a strait-laced family is forced to confront everything they know about their identities.

“This translation artfully captures the constantly shifting identities and tones that form the core of this controversial play. With pitch perfect, evocative precision, Gaboriau once again shows her faultless grasp of the emotional and intellectual complexities and nuances of translating for the stage and, in particular, Mouawad’s brilliant, challenging work.”

Peer assessment committee: Nicola Danby, Wayne Grady, Maureen Labonté

Linda Gaboriau
Linda Gaboriau
Photo: Josée Lambert

Biography: Linda Gaboriau

Linda Gaboriau is a literary translator and dramaturg. She has translated more than 125 plays, including those of some of Quebec’s foremost playwrights, which have been published and produced on both Canadian and international stages. She has received many awards for her work, namely two Governor General’s Literary Awards for Translation (Stone and Ashes, 1996, and Forests, 2010). Linda was the founding director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre and was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2015. She lives in Montréal, Quebec.

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