The Combat national des livres, which is now in its 16th year, is a battle of the books competition similar to its English-language counterpart Canada Reads. It pits five Canadian novels in French against one another over the course of the week of May 4th 2020. For five days, five well-known personalities will defend one of five books chosen for the competition. Votes from listeners (you!) will determine which book is THE book that everybody should read in 2020! The competition will be broadcasted on Radio-Canada’s Ici Première radio channel from May 4-8. Note that as this is French-language competition, the radio program and all links on this page are in French.
Romeo Saganash, Alpha Toshineza, Dominique Demers, France D'Amour and Julie Aubé will be the defenders of this edition of the Combat national des livres which will be broadcasted on the Radio-Canada Premiere radio channel, during the daily program Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! with host Marie-Louise Arsenault.
The Indigenous Territories, Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic are each being represented by one of the chosen books. The novels chosen are quite different from each other. However, all of them feature “characters who seek each other out and build themselves through critical encounters”, Radio-Canada explains in its article about the competition.
A small change from previous years: each defender will be at home and will defend their book by phone. It is up to you to decide which winning book the whole country should read in 2020! You can find more details about the selected books (which have all been published in English as well), their authors and the defenders, by checking the fact sheets available on the website.
Indian Horse (Cheval Indien) by Richard Wagamese (defended by Romeo Saganash)
“Saul Indian Horse, locked up in a rehab facility, is thinking about his life. Snatched from his family at a young age to be sent to an Aboriginal boarding school, he survived because of his passion for hockey. But at what costs?” <our translation>
The Setting Lake Sun (Le soleil du lac qui se couche) by J. R. Léveillé (defended by Alpha Toshineza)
“Angèle, a young Métis, tells us about her meeting with Ueno, an old Japanese. A novel at the crossroads of Japanese zenitude and Métis culture that invites you to discover an unexpected Manitoba.” <our translation>
The Bad Mother (La mauvaise mère) by Marguerite Andersen (defended by Dominique Demers)
“A documentary of dazzling modernity, a woman retraces the important moments of her life as a mother, questions her choices and confesses her mistakes.” <our translation>
A Family Affair (Un lien familial) by Nadine Bismuth (defended by France D’Amour)
“A modern love story: that of Magalie, 40, who lives with Mathieu, the father of her daughter, a lawyer who cheats on her and who she cheats in return. A funny and ruthless novel that skins our kitchen cabinet-obsessed era.” <our translation>
Moncton Mantra by Gérald Leblanc (defended by Julie Aubé)
“Stages a whole generation of Acadian creators at the time of the ‘Acadian Renaissance’ and tells the birth of a writer in a minority environment.” <our translation>
This blog post was contributed by Ginette from the St-Laurent Branch