Governor General’s Literary Awards

Book cover for Faire les sucres, by Fanny Britt

Faire les sucres

by Fanny Britt

Le Cheval dʼaoût

“An accurate and non-complacent portrait of Western society and the discrepancy between classes and ethnic backgrounds, this brilliantly written work is part of a tradition of great North American novels. It poses a fundamental question: no matter how privileged a person is, can they live without the support of others? In this finely constructed and realistic fresco, complex characters weather storms that are not unrelated to the paradoxes that dwell within them.”

—Peer assessment committee: Sophie Bienvenu, Aristote Kavungu and Andrée A. Michaud

Synopsis

They say money can’t buy happiness, but doesn’t it give you the chance to take a break and make time for yourself? How can we fail to see how absurd the phrase “make time for yourself” is, as if we weren’t already doing just that most of the time?

In this multi-perspective novel about a couple’s progressive disunion, Fanny Britt mercilessly explores our privileges. We meet Adam and Marion, whose successful lives are intertwined with Celia’s. Celia has figured out something about the world that they haven’t yet.

Faire les sucres moves briskly through a Montréal where foodies and entertainers thrive. It visits a saltwater taffy factory on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, attends an anglophone choir’s rehearsals and listens to the sap rising in the trees of a maple farm in the Oka area. With her formidable talent for orchestrating her characters’ actions and revealing their most intimate thoughts, Fanny Britt—both sharp and tender—demonstrates the ways our lives are tied with the lives of others—those we love as well as those we exploit.

Headshot of Fanny Britt

Biography

Fanny Britt is a writer and translator. She is the author of several plays, including Hurlevents (2018) and Bienveillance (Governor General’s Literary Award in 2013). Her plays have been performed on many stages across Quebec and beyond, as have her 20 or so translations of theatre works. She also has a dozen literary translations to her name. Her first novel, Les maisons (2015), was a finalist for the Prix France-Québec and the Prix des collégiens. She has also published two essays, Les tranchées – maternité, ambiguïté, féminisme (2013) and Les retranchées – échecs et ravissements de la famille, en milieu de course (2019, finalist for the Prix Victor-Barbeau). In young people’s literature, she has written the graphic novels Jane, le renard et moi (2012), which has won many awards, Louis parmi les spectres (2016) and Truffe (2021), and translated several works. Fanny Britt lives in Montréal, Quebec.

Photo: Justine Latour

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