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La Sagouine

La Sagouine

The premise is deceptively simple: a dirt-poor charwoman and former prostitute leans on her mop and tells her life story. But what a story! As she reminisces and rants, telling stories about herself, her friends and neighbours, the priest and his church, and every other aspect of life in her village, she is actually telling the story of Acadie.

More than 30 years after its first publication in English, and five years since Wayne Grady completed this new translation, La Sagouine is available in this new, updated edition. Faithfully interpreting Antonine Maillet's distinctive text, Wayne Grady brings out the cultural richness of the language as well as La Sagouine's strength of character and irrepressible humour.

La Sagouine launched the careers of both Antonine Maillet and the actress Viola Léger. With sales of over 100,000 copies, it brought the existence of Acadian literature to a wide and admiring audience.


Antonine Maillet is one of Canada's best-known writers. Among her many honours are the Prix Goncourt, which she received for her novel Pélagie-la-charette, the first non-French citizen to do so, and the Governor General's Award for fiction for Don L'Orignal, both available in translation from Goose Lane Editions.

Wayne Grady has translated eight novels and edited six anthologies of short stories. He won the Governor General's Award for his translation of On the Eighth Day by Antonine Maillet and was nominated for the 2005 Governor General's Award for his translation of Francine D'Amour's Return from Africa.

142 pages
Pub date: November 17, 2015