Winter Child

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Availability: Canada Only

Winter Child

  • Publication Date: May 1, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781988298061 / 1988298067
  • 200 pages; 5½" x 8½"

A visceral, luminous novel about a Métis woman tracing the life and death of her son.

One late September day, amid the year’s first snowfall, the winter child is born. He does not breathe. His mother watches helplessly until “at last the baby uttered a first tentative croak like a frog unsure of spring’s arrival.”

Then again, and again, and again, the winter child narrowly avoids death’s reach. But his mother knows: “he would be her wound, she would have to battle to keep him with her, to defend him against the worst of all enemies.”

Originally published in French and told through alternating and overlapping memories, Winter Child is a powerful meditation on grief and life. With a poet and storyteller’s language, Virgina Pésémapéo Bordeleau traces a mother’s journey from devastation to strength, descending to the darkest inner depths, and finally finding the generosity of life and love.

“Both raw and poetic, Pésémapéo Bordeleau’s novel is ultimately about healing and continuance, through dreams, ceremony and the partner who is meant for the time.” – Globe and Mail

“Susan Ouriou and Christelle Morelli’s translation of the French original blends romantic turns of phrase with the transformative storytelling power of Pésémapéo Bordeleau’s Cree and Métis ancestors… Winter Child is a collection of narratives about complex relationality, death, loss, and moving through grief, despite it all. Though the mother has experienced unspeakable abuse and trauma, she continues, and with love to boot. Pésémapéo Bordeleau has woven together an exercise in sitting with and moving through pain.” – Montreal Review of Books

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