A failed actress and a schoolmarm, Gabrielle Roy is credited with having written the first major Canadian urban novel, 1945’s Bonheur d’occasion — translated into English as The Tin Flute in 1947 — about Montreal’s working poor during the Second World War.
Roy — who was the author behind a quote featured on Canada’s $20 bill between 2004 and 2012 —won many illustrious literary awards in both Canada and abroad, and is praised for her skill in depicting the hopes and frustrations of the poor, as well as life in rural Canada. She is also one of very few authors to have been successful in both of Canada’s official languages.
Despite living most of her adult life in Quebec, it is Roy’s experiences as a child and young adult in Manitoba that permeate through many of her novels.
As part of a mini-series on CBC Manitoba’s Weekend Morning Show called “The Franco-Beat,” host Nadia Kidwai and Radio-Canada host and producer Samuel Rancourt delve into the intriguing story of the prolific Franco-Manitoban author.
The Weekend Morning Show (Manitoba)12:16Gabrielle Roy: Canada’s first author of the Modern Age
Other stories in the Franco-Beat mini-series: