Governor General's Literary Awards

Un barbare en Chine nouvelle

Un barbare en Chine nouvelle

Translated by Daniel Poliquin

Les Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia; translation of Barbarian Lost: Travels in the New China by Alexandre Trudeau, HarperCollins Publishers



Alexandre Trudeau has been fascinated by China since his childhood. Here, he retraces his wanderings in a country that is a synonym for extremes, and offers an arresting portrait of contemporary China, doubtless the biggest laboratory in which the future of humankind is being worked out. Often accompanied by Vivien, a young Chinese journalist, the author explores the reality of lives trapped between the China of our memories and the China that stalls progress. The China he seeks reveals itself in snatches of conversation. It is the flame of a candle that resists the harsh light of modernity. Each person he meets reveals part of the secret, and each revelation leaves us bewildered by shattering our preconceptions and forcing us to question our most firmly-held certainties.

“With a sober and direct style that holds us spellbound, the translator masters the information in the original text and reconstructs it in French. We have the impression of a translator who has taken the same journey as the author, as if a journalist had accompanied him.”

- Peer assessment committee

Daniel Poliquin
Daniel Poliquin


Daniel Poliquin wins his second Governor General's Literary Award in 2017 with Un barbare en Chine nouvelle. A writer, translator and interpreter, he holds honorary doctorates from both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. Almost all his novels have been published by Les Éditions du Boréal, including La Kermesse, L'Historien de rien, Le Vol de l'ange and Cherche rouquine, coupe garçonne (2017). His books have confirmed his status in both school and university curricula and have been extensively studied by researchers. He has translated the work of many Anglophone writers such as Jack Kerouac, Mordecai Richler, Matt Cohen, W.O. Mitchell and Douglas Glover. His book Le Rêve de Champlain, is a translation of the masterful biography of the explorer by David Hackett Fisher. Daniel Poliquin lives in Ottawa.

Photo: Magali Charron

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