Stanley Péan

David Homel

September 2018

In the taxi rides you're about to take, you'll be in the company of some classic drivers and their perspicacious and sharp-eyed passenger, the writer and broadcaster Stanley Péan. Veteran translator David Homel, who introduced readers of English to Dany Laferrière with the publication of How to Make Love to a Negro, now brings us the other major voice of Haitian Montreal, Stanley Pean, here in English for the first time.

Stanley Péan was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in the spring of 1966, and he grew up in the Saguenay region of Quebec where his parents settled after immigrating in the fall of that same year. A writer and cultural journalist, over the last thirty years he has published twenty-five works in a variety of genres: novels, short story collections, essays, and fiction for young readers. A music lover, every night of the week Péan hosts a jazz show on ICI Musique, Radio-Canada's music channel. And though he is past fifty, he still has not learned to drive. Which explains the taxis. Author website:

Translator David Homel is the author of eleven novels for adults and young readers. His books have been published in a number of languages. He also works as a journalist and documentary filmmaker. As a translator, he has won the Governor General’s Literary Award for French-to-English Translation in 1995 and 2001, the Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Award for Translation in 2003, the J. I. Segal Award of the Jewish Public Library in 2012, as well as two awards from the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

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What they say
We have found our champion
Ian McGillis

Non-drivers among us have found our champion in Stanley Péan. The popular Montreal writer and broadcaster makes his English-language debut, translated by David Homel, with Taximan: Stories and Anecdotes from the Backseat. A set of encounters rendered in unassuming miniature comprise a kaleidoscopic urban portrait that captures the essence of the Haitian-born author’s adopted city. 
Montreal Gazette, December 2018

An engaging comical tone
Mark Sampson

"Stanley Péan certainly knows his way around a cab. By his own admission, the Haiti-born, Quebec-raised author and Radio Canada broadcaster spends an inordinate amount of time (and money) getting chauffeured around in taxis. In David Homel’s English translation of Taximan, Péan collects stories, anecdotes, snippets of political discussions, and other squibs from his long habit of chatting up cabbies."
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Quill and Quire, December 2018

Unique... random... deep... intimate
Timothy Niedermann

"Oddly for a North American in his fifties, Péan has never learned to drive. This means that he has to take public transportation—trains, buses, and, of course, a lot of taxis. And this, in turn, means a lot of taxi drivers. Péan finds taxi drivers to be an interesting bunch. Most like to talk, so Péan listens and engages, and quickly their stories come out. Passenger and driver find common ground for discussing all sorts of things—country of origin, language, politics, family. Thus the drivers enter Péan’s life—shared concerns leading to a shared bond."
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Ottawa Review of Books, September 2018. 

A Quebec that is not Black and White, not Yes or No, but infinitely varied, multi-hued...
Vince Tinguely

"In those days, and it is still the case today, Blacks were rare in the Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean region, in northeastern Quebec. At most, there must have been a dozen Haitian households scattered across the territory: the Cadets, the Dauphins, the Kavanaghs, the Mathieus, the Mételluses, the Norrises […] and the Péans as well, who lived in three different spots in Jonquière and Kénogami... When you come down to it, my family constituted the entire Haitian community in our little town. You can imagine how difficult it would have been to start a gang of teenage delinquents or even a street demonstration."
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Montreal Review of Books, Summer 2018. 


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