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From far away, from right here

It used to be that you could get better Hungarian sausages in Montreal than you could in Budapest. So many of the Hungarians have left, taking with them their flourless cakes and their cafés, so I’m not sure that’s still true, but others have arrived to take their place. Ingredients are now available here to make dishes from across the globe, and there are now Iranian, Russian, Georgian, Polish, Italian, Tamil, Vietnamese, Peruvian, Mexican, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Lebanese, and Ethiopian restaurants all within walking distance.

Irresistible Small Festivals II : Quebec City

The more our lives as writers and readers are spent online, the more we appreciate what the literary festival – of whatever size – has to offer: not only personal contact with other writers and readers, but also friendliness, warmth, and the kind of intimacy that conversations about good books bring out in people who love reading. When the festival is small, these priceless qualities are all the more concentrated. And when a superb setting is added to the mix, the small festival becomes irresistible.

Annie Ernaux: from L’Autre Fille (The Other Daughter)

When French author Annie Ernaux was ten years old, she overheard her mother conversing with a customer outside the family-run small grocery. The mother confided that there was a daughter before Annie, a six-year old girl who contracted diphtheria and who “died like a little saint.” L’Autre fille (The Other Daughter) is Annie Ernaux’s letter to the departed.


      Annie Ernaux  [Photo: Catherine Hélie, Gallimard]

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