Born in 1970, Eric Dupont lives and works in Montreal. He has published 4 novels with Marchand de feuilles and in France with Éditions du Toucan and Éditions J’ai lu (Flammarion). He is a past winner of Radio-Canada’s “Combat des livres” (the equivalent of the CBC’s Canada Reads contest), a finalist for the Prix littéraire France-Québec and the Prix des cinq continents, and a winner of the Prix des libraires and the Prix littéraire des collégiens. His fourth novel, Songs for the Cold of Heart (La fiancée américaine) translated by Peter McCambridge, has sold over 60,000 copies in Quebec alone.
Eric has been selected for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist for his novel, Songs for the Cold of Heart.
Is there an activity you do to help inspire your writing?
Walking briskly for hours along one of Montreal’s never-ending streets while I talk to myself. I usually am arguing with my characters. Some of them are a bit rough around the edges. Passers-by think I’m nuts, but it really works.
What are you reading now?
I am reading People you’d trust your life to by Bronwyn Wallace.
What is your favourite CanLit read?
Pélagie-la-Charrette by Antonine Maillet.
What inspired you to write your Scotiabank Giller Prize nominated book?
At the end of the 1980s, when I was 19, my father told the story of this woman he knew, who at the age of 18, was forced by her mother to board a Greyhound bus all alone from her Gaspé hometown all the way to Manhattan to get an abortion. Because she had no money for a hotel, she had to take the return bus right after the procedure. Upon her return, she was forbidden to ever talk about it. This was life in the Gaspé in 1968. The image of the nauseous girl shivering in that bus in the middle of a snowstorm haunted me for years. My father refused to tell me who it was, arguing that her story was more important than her name. Had he revealed her name back then, the story would have died in 1989. How can one forget a story like that?
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