On a draughty veranda set back from a village with no electricity live Matthias and an accident victim placed in his care just before winter. That was the agreement: the older man will care for the younger in exchange for firewood, food and – most important – a place in the convoy that will leave for the city when spring comes. The snow builds up, and every day brings fresh challenges. Around the wood stove, the two men work hard to get along through conversations and visits by Joseph, Jonas, Jean, Jude, José and the fair Maria. The rumours from the village infiltrate their space, winter weighs heavy, the tension is palpable. Will they make it?
“In Le poids de la neige, a decidedly Nordic novel, the ubiquitous snow swallows up the country and the people. Against an apocalyptic background, the tension is unrelenting. Minor and major fears are exacerbated, like the dread of betrayal. The poetry in Christian Guay-Poliquin’s writing keeps us spellbound to the end of winter.”
- Peer assessment committee
Christian Guay-Poliquin wins his first Governor General’s Literary Award in fiction in 2017. He believes that the art of storytelling is intimately linked to practical life and an attention to detail. Le poids de la neige had earned both public and critical success, garnering the Prix littéraire des collégiens, and the Prix des lycéens AIEQ and the Prix littéraire France-Québec, and was shortlisted for several other awards. His first novel, Le fil des kilomètres (La Peuplade) was also published in France and translated into English. Christian Guay-Poliquin was born in Saint-Armand, Quebec in 1982.
Photo: Julien Bois