mRb: Winter’s Child

Featured Image: Book cover

Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau’s newest novel Winter Child draws embodied affect from the reader like poetry, and is so deeply personal that it almost reads like creative non-fiction. Pésémapéo Bordeleau’s words aren’t obscured by smoke or mirrors; instead, she depicts a complex constellation of relations among three generations of a Cree-Métis family, and all its present love and strain. 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 comprised of several short narratives, often no more than two or three pages in length. Each short narrative represents a single memory told from the perspective of the narrator, who we know only as “the mother.” The narratives potently describe seemingly mundane everyday activities, finding love and teachings within the beautiful, and at times traumatic, present of our lives. As everything does, the book begins with the birth of a child – the mother’s son.

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