A Novel

Paperback - 2003
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Imagine a 16th-century society belle turned Robinson Crusoe, a female Don Quixote with an Inuit Sancho Panza, and you'll have an inkling of what's in store in Douglas Glover's outrageously Rabelaisian new novel -- his first in ten years. Elle is a lusty, subversive riff on the discovery of the New World, the moment of first contact. Based on a true story, Elle chronicles the ordeals and adventures of a young French woman marooned on the desolate Isle of Demons during Jacques Cartier's ill-fated third and last attempt to colonize Canada. Of course, the plot is only the beginning. The bare outline is a true story: the Sieur de Roberval did abandon his unruly young niece, her lover, and her nurse on the Isle of Demons; her companions and her newborn baby did die; and she was indeed rescued and taken home to France. Beyond that, Glover's Rabelaisian imagination takes over. What with real bears, spirit bears, and perhaps hallucinated bears, with mystified and mystifying Natives, with the residue of a somewhat lurid religious faith, and with a world of self-preserving belligerence, the voluble heroine of Elle does more than survive. Elle brilliantly reinvents the beginnings of this country's history: what Canada meant to the early European adventurers, what these Europeans meant to Canada's original inhabitants, and the terrible failure of the two worlds to recognize each other as human. In a carnal whirlwind of myth and story, of death, lust and love, of beauty and hilarity, Glover brings the past violently and unexpectedly into the present. In Elle, Glover's well-known scatological realism, exuberant violence, and dark, unsettling humour give history a thoroughly modern chill.
Publisher: Fredericton, N.B. : Goose Lane Editions, c2003.
ISBN: 9780864923158
Characteristics: 205 pages ;,22 cm.


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Jan 30, 2016

I totally agree with the reader Valpo below. I don't understand how this book could win the GG award. Joseph Boyden is a far more better author in describing the harshness of the land, the culture and life of the aboriginal people in Three Day Road and his writing is more superior, moving and gripping too.

Jul 22, 2012

Read January 2008

May 30, 2011

Well-written page-turner, won't be to everyone's taste. Don't know that "enjoy" is the correct word but I certainly appreciated the work the author put into it. I'm a sucker for mixing history and myth/legend/religion.

Apr 29, 2011

An original voice!
The novel is amazing - a girl sent to La Nouvelle France as punishment for "wilfullness"

Pregnant and virtually alone she must find a way to survive.

Dec 08, 2010

A good read. Douglas keeps you engaged. As reader you want more n more.

Sep 29, 2010

Gripping - a surprisingly quick read, actually, but very dense. A different perspective on Canada, and its history. Loved the dog...

Dec 07, 2009

This story depressed me. It reminded me of the magic realism of the Latin American authors, but was not done as successfully. Also, Elle is a man's depiction of a sensuous/sexual woman... rather bawdy and superficial...

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Jun 22, 2010

awilliam94 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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