Raymond Dossougbé flees the misery of his hometown in Benin and arrives in Toronto, where he is immediately charmed by it. He sees the city as a place of freedom and light, a sanctuary where he, like so many others, can begin anew. But as he becomes familiar with the city and its inhabitants, he realizes that his Afro-Caribbean roommates look like him but aren’t his brothers. He discovers a free community that is mentally shackled, stuck in the past, unable and unwilling to adapt. He sees deep poverty, extreme wealth, and the consequences of police brutality. Eventually he finds his bearings in this new world and comes to a better understanding of his new self and the colourful characters around him.
Toronto je t’aime won the Prix Trillium when it first came out in 2000.
Translated from French by Elaine Kennedy.
Fiction. African & African American Studies.
A native of Toronto now living in Victoria, Elaine Kennedy studied English literature, French language and civilization, as well as translation in North America and Europe. She has worked as a translator and editor in numerous fields. Today, she focuses on literary translation.Author City: VICTORIA, BC CAN
Didier Leclair is a three-time finalist for the Prix Trillium and the recipient of both the Trillium and the Christine Dumitriu van Saanen book prizes. His second novel, Ce pays qui est le mien, was shortlisted for the 2004 Governor General's Award for French-language fiction. Its English translation, This Country of Mine (2018) and was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards. Didier Leclair was born in Montreal to Rwandan parents. He grew up in different African countries-Gabon, Benin, Togo, The Republic of Congo-and returned to Canada in the late 1980s. Since that time, he has been living and writing in Toronto.