The Road Past Altamont

Front Cover
Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966 - Fiction - 146 pages
2 Reviews
First published in French in 1966, The Road Past Altamont pierces to the heart of a child's world, creating a delicate, yet substantial network of impressions, emotions, and relationships. In her writing, Gabrielle Roy allowed "nothing extraneous or false to stand, " according to the translator, Joyce Marshall. The literary style of Roy, whose fiction reflects her childhood on the Canadian prairie, has often been compared to that of Willa Cather. The Road Past Altamont takes a sensitive French-Canadian girl, Christine, from childhood innocence to maturity. Four connected stories reveal profound moments during her early years in the vastness of Manitoba. Christine's testament to Grandmother's creative power, her great adventure with an old gentleman at Lake Winnipeg and her clandestine one with a crude family of movers, her journey through time and space with aging Maman - all these characters and events convey Gabrielle Roy's preoccupation with childhood and old age, the passage of time and mystery of change, and the artist's relation to the world.

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Review: The Road Past Altamont

User Review  - Joanne - Goodreads

A beautifully poetic story in the style of WO Mitchell. Gabrielle Roy is always a pleasure to read but this is one of my favourites. Read full review

Review: The Road Past Altamont

User Review  - Ashley Tate - Goodreads

I gave my mom a matching copy for Mother's Day. I am extremely fond of this book, as it manages to convey mother/daughter relationships in a manner much more poignant than any Lifetime special or copy ... Read full review

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About the author (1966)

Gabrielle Roy was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, in 1909. Her parents were part of the large Quebec emigration to western Canada in the late nineteenth century. The youngest of eight children, she studied in a convent school for twelve years, then taught school herself, first in isolated Manitoba villages and later in St. Boniface.

In 1937 Roy travelled to Europe to study drama, and during two years spent in London and Paris she began her writing career. The approaching war forced her to return to Canada, and she settled in Montreal.

Roy’s first novel, The Tin Flute, ushered in a new era of realism in Quebec fiction with its compassionate depiction of a working-class family in Montreal’s Saint-Henri district. Her later fiction often turned for its inspiration to the Manitoba of her childhood and her teaching career.

In 1947 Roy married Dr. Marcel Carbotte, and after a few years in France, they settled in Quebec City, which was to remain their home. Roy complemented her fiction with essays, reflective recollections, and three children’s books. Her many honours include three Governor General’s Awards, France’s Prix Fémina, and Quebec’s Prix David.

Gabrielle Roy died in Quebec City, Quebec, in 1983.

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