New Brunswick Author Portal

Gracia  Couturier
Categories: Female AuthorsFrancophone AuthorsPoetsAuthors of Juvenile Fiction;NovelistsNorth

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Gracia Couturier was born in the heart of the Appalachians. At the age of 20, she traded her mountains in Edmundston for the province's east coast; the sea plays a role in the realm of her imagination. In the genres that she tackles – theatre, novels, poetry – she explores structures, particularly fractals, which we see recurring in each of her novels (L’antichambre – 1997; Je regardais Rebecca – 1999; Chacal, mon frère – 2010). In 1998, she discovered haiku and contributed to several anthologies and magazines. In her works for both adults and children (Le vœu en vaut-il la chandelle? –2003; Un tintamarre dans ma tête – 2002), her main themes are always the human soul and destiny. She has written a number of educational documents related to theatre (Le théâtre à l’école : manuel de production théâtrale – 2007) and to children’s literature. She also writes texts for shows (Racines océanes – CMA 2009).

How has New Brunswick influenced your work?

I was born and grew up in the heart of the Saint John River valley, at the base of the Appalachians. On fall evenings, when the sun turned the sky red above the trees, as I came down the hill on my way home from university, I would slow my step to enjoy the quiet of the moment as long as I could. I saw the sun rise on the Rivière-Verte as I canoed along. In the thick of the dense forest, I breathed in the scents of August among the wild raspberry bushes, and I picked fiddleheads every spring along the Iroquois River. Now, I live near the sea. I need the salty horizon.

Nature has shaped my childhood, as did growing up astride both the Quebec and the United States borders and being born into a large family, which in turn came from a very large family – descendents of pioneers and founders of Saint-Joseph de Madawaska. These realities nourish my imagination. New Brunswick's natural surroundings have influenced my work much more than its political scene, hurt by short-sighted election campaigns.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

A highlight implies a subsequent descent. I prefer to think that I am travelling along a road that is smooth at times, bumpy at others, beneath a sometimes grey sky, with bright sunny intervals of happiness, writing what is on my mind, what delights me and what I trust will provide a moment of escape to readers who, often by chance, open the cover of one of my books. And, in one reading, they imagine themselves “recreating the world” – their world.

Literary Prizes

Prix France-Acadie - 2012 In recognition of: Chacal, mon frère
Prix des lecteurs Radio-Canada - 2011 In recognition of: Chacal, mon frère
Grants from New Brunswick Arts Board
Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts

Featured Publication

Chacal, mon frère

Bruno Bellefleur se berce dans le vivoir de la grande maison familiale. Les jambes recroquevillées, le menton appuyé sur les genoux, immobile, il se berce à un rythme lent et régulier, comme si la berceuse se mouvait par elle-même sous l’hypnose du silence qui enveloppe la maison. Les yeux hagards rivés à l’écran de la télévision muette – Bruno déteste le bruit – il regarde les tours du World Trade Center s’effondrer à l’écran. Les deux tours s’écrasent, l’une après l’autre, inlassablement, à intervalles presque réguliers. Il fixe l’écran, sans bouger.

Cette attitude figée n’a rien d’extraordinaire chez cet homme. Il a l’habitude de rester immobile durant de longues heures, le regard fixe devant lui. Ses yeux pers, recouverts en permanence d’un voile translucide, lui donnent un air absent, détaché du monde. Avec son teint grisâtre et son crâne chauve, il ressemble à une statue taillée dans le grès.

Find this author in the New Brunswick public libraries catalogue.

Source(s): Author