KuessipanBook - 2013
A fictionalized, meditative chronicle of life among the Innu in rural northeastern Quebec.
Kuessipan ("to you" in the Innu language) is an extraordinary, meditative novel about life among the Native Innu people in the wilds of northeastern Quebec. Naomi Fontaine, herself an Innu, wrote this novel (in French) at the age of twenty-three; with grace and perfect pitch, she depicts a community of nomadic hunters and fishers, and of hard-working mothers and their children, enduring a harsh, sometimes cruel reality with quiet dignity. Pervading the book is a palpable sense of place and time played out as a series of moments: elders who watch their kin grow up before their eyes; couples engaged in domestic crises, and young people undone by alcohol; caribou-skin drums that bring residents to their feet; and lives spent along a bay that reflects the beauty of the earth and the universal truth that life is a fleeting puzzle whose pieces must be put together before it can be fully lived.
With poetic restraint and a documentary-like eye, Kuessipan is a remarkable and intimate portrait of a world that reads like no other.Kuessipan is currently being developed into a French-language motion picture by director Myriam Verreault for Max Films Inc.
If you keep on going, there will be sand beneath your feet. You'll taste the salty air. The sun will start to go down. The sky will put on a show. Let the waves give rhythm to your senses. You will be comforted. Just walk through those spruce trees. Then you'll see the bay, the beach with its soft sand, the aluminum smelter, the islands, the river as wide as the sea. The ocean, where you came from.