Governor General's Literary Awards

La main hantée

La main hantée

By Louise Dupré

Éditions du Noroît; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia



After she has her cat put down, a woman realizes she has the capacity to kill. The book is a cry provoked by existential questions: how to cope with everyday wickedness, how to view one’s own wickedness without yielding to despair, like so many writers who struggled in vain. Through the process of writing, through compassion and by opening up to other people, she believes it is possible to face life in the belief that if she acknowledges the presence of evil in herself, as well as in the world around her, she will be able to respond and take her place among the living.

“In full command of her art, Louise Dupré goes straight to the heart of her own contradiction with La main hantée, adopting a position of extreme risk. She embraces the dark side of human nature, calls upon the living, and produces a work that is an appeal to tenderness, with the poem always at its call.”

- Peer assessment committee

Louise Dupré
Louise Dupré


Louise Dupré wins her second Governor General's Literary Award in 2017. She has published some 20 books that have earned many awards and distinctions. This includes 10 poetry collections, including Plus haut que les flammes (2010) and La main hantée (2016), both published by Les Éditions du Noroît. XYZ published two of her novels – La memoria (1996) and La Voie lactée (2001), and a collection of short stories, L'été funambule (2008). Héliotrope published L'album multicolore (2014), a non-fiction story about her mother. Her play Tout comme elle (Québec Amérique, 2006) was directed by Brigitte Haentjens in 2006. Several of her books have been translated into English, Spanish or Catalan. A retired professor of literary studies at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), she is also a Member of the Académie des lettres du Québec and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2014, she received the Order of Canada "for her contributions to Quebec literature as a poet, novelist, playwright, essayist and professor." Louise Dupré was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1949.

Photo: Toma Iczkovits

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