TPQ: What are you currently reading?
AP: Victime 2117 (Victim 2117) by Jussi Adler Olsen.
TPQ: Best and worst books you have ever read?
AP: L’Étranger (The Stranger) by Camus. The worst ever read? There are no books in particular that come to mind. But, I hate reading an American novel about baseball, hockey or American football translated in French. They really don't seem to understand these sports.
TPQ: Book most cherished as a child?
TPQ: Favourite Childhood author?
AP: René Goscinny, we all know him for the Astérix comic books. I enjoyed particularly his children’s books known as Le Petit Nicolas.
TPQ: First book to really own you?
AP: L’Écume des Jours (Foam of the Days) by Boris Vian.
TPQ: Favourite male and female author?
AP: AP: Russell Banks @ Marguerite Duras
A Berlin Book Tower in memory of the Nazi book burning.
TPQ: A preference for fact or fiction?
AP: I like both, but since I read fact for my work, fiction comes first.
TPQ: Biography, autobiography or memoir that most impressed you?
TPQ: Any author or book you point blank refuse to read?
AP: Mathieu Bock-Côté. He could be described as Québec’s version of Eric Zemmour. All Donald Trump’s books, even if he didn’t write them.
TPQ: A book to share with somebody so that they would more fully understand you?
AP: Nègres Blancs d’Amérique (White Niggers of America) by Pierre Vallières (1968). Vallières was an intellectual leader of the Front the liberation du Québec (FLQ). Written in prison, while he was incarcerated in New York for having demonstrated in front of the UN building (while an arrest warrant was issued against him in Quebec), this essay compares the historical situation of French Canadians with that of African-Americans. For Vallières, the two peoples are second-class and exploited citizens and must take up arms to free themselves from their oppressors. Vallières renounced violence after the October crisis of 1970, without abandoning the idea of Quebec's independence.
TPQ: Last book you gave as a present?
AP: Aux Portes de l’Éternité (Edge of Eternity) by Ken Follet.
AP: Pourfendeurs des Nuages (Cloudsplitter ) by Russel Bank. This book deals with the story of the abolitionist John Brown. I would also like to see James Ellroy’s Underworld USA trilogy turned into a television series.
TPQ: A "must read" you intend getting to before you die?
AP: I would like to read the full works of Tolstoy.
➽André Poulin teaches history at Université de Sherbrooke and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and is a friend of TPQ.