Visiting Elizabeth

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XYZ Publishing, 2004 - Fiction - 374 pages
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Visiting Elizabeth follows a friendship that begins and ends with a needle. Elizabeth teaches Ariane to speak her mind. So when Elizabeth is struck and killed by a car, Ariane vows to speak for two. Soon, a hybrid language rolls off her tongue. Elizabeth's English and Ariane's native French are woven so fine they can no longer be separated. Just like the clothes Ariane alters and sews by hand, changing form and function, she discovers irresistible connections between her two languages and cultures, charging them with new energy and rhythms. Her words open a rich sensual world, as physical as the fabrics she sews, as sharp as the needle she threads. Set in the heady moment between Expo 67 and the end of 1969, the story is an adrenaline rush that pulls the reader through the front and back streets of Montréal. Wielding her needle, Ariane reinvents herself while keeping Elizabeth's memory alive. In the end, the seamstress becomes her own œuvre d'art.

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About the author (2004)

Bilingual writer Gisèle Villeneuve was educated dans sa langue maternelle à Montréal. Before settling in Calgary in 1978, she honed her other tongue, English, while living in London, England. As a novelist, short story writer, playwright and scriptwriter, she delights alternating freely between French and English. Her novel, Visiting Elizabeth, is to date her most complex hybrid of Canadaâe(tm)s two official languages and cultures. Villeneuveâe(tm)s writerly statement could be: les deux solitudes became lovers and vécurent heureux ever after. Gisèle enjoys mountaineering and has travelled on five continents. When not at her desk, she can be found roaming the Rockies.

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