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Marie-Claire Blais fonds. - 1962-1982. - 5 m of textual record and graphic material.

Biographical Sketch

Marie-Claire Blais was born in Quebec City, Quebec in 1939. At 20, she published her first novel, La Belle Bête (1959), which earned her the Prix de la langue française. A two-time recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, she moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1963, and wrote Une Saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel (1965), which won the Prix France-Québec and the Prix Médicis, and which was made into a film in 1982. She has written more than 20 novels, five plays and collections of poetry, published in France and Quebec, most of which have been translated into English and other languages. These include Tête blanche (1960), L'Insoumise (1966), David Sterne (1967), Les Manuscrits de Pauline Archange (1968), Vivre! Vivre! (1969), Le Sourd dans la ville (1979), Visions d'Anna (1982), Pierre (1986), L'Ange de la solitude (1989) and Un Jardin dans la tempête (1990). Parcours d'un écrivain, a collection of articles she wrote for Le Devoir during the year she spent in the U.S. (1963-1964), was published by VLB Éditeur in 1993. Marie-Claire Blais also wrote the script for Le Journal en images froides for Radio-Canada in 1977 and contributed to the script for the documentary Tu as crié Let Me Go for the National Film Board in 1997.

Facing pages from Marie-Claire Blais' notebook

Facing pages from Marie-Claire Blais' notebook containing a watercolour and a description of material she was reading.

Marie-Claire Blais has won a number of significant major awards including the Governor General's Literary Award which she has won three times, for Les Manuscrits de Pauline Archange in 1969, Le Sourd dans la ville in 1979 and Soifs in 1996. She received the Prix de l'Académie française for Visions d'Anna in 1983, the Prix Athanase-David in 1982 for the body of her work. In 1992 she was named to the Académie royale de langue et de littérature française de Belgique.

Scope and Content

The Marie-Claire Blais fonds contains notebooks for Une Saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel (1965), David Sterne (1967), Le Loup (1972), Un Joualonais, sa joualonie (1973), and Le Sourd dans la ville (1979), as well as the typed manuscript and research notes for Visions d'Anna (1982). The fonds contains 15 diaries illustrated with approximately 200 watercolours, gouaches and coloured pencil drawings. The Michèle Mailhot accession contains notebooks and notepads which she received from Marie-Claire Blais. The Louise Myette accession contains correspondence (approximately 170 records) exchanged between Myette and Blais, a few letters from Mary Meigs to Louise Myette and a drawing by Mary Meigs. These letters have literary and personal content and several letters are illustrated with drawings, gouaches and collages.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: Most of the fonds was acquired from the author. One accession was received in 1992 from Michèle Mailhot (1933- ). Another accession also received in 1992 was from Louise Myette (1930-1996), Marie-Claire Blais' literary agent until 1985. [1985-06, 1986-08, 1988-03, 1989-04, 1989-17, 1992-10, 1992-12, 1993-02, 1997-05]

Language: material in the fonds is in French.

Restrictions: the Myette-Blais correspondence will not be made public for 50 years, except with the permission of the two parties concerned. There are other restrictions governing access to certain records.

Finding Aid: finding aid available for the first five accessions. A summary list of the other accessions is available.

Related Records Different Fonds: The Mary Meigs fonds LMS-0161 [1989-15] and the Jeanne Lapointe fonds LMS-0172 [1990-16].

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