The Tale of Don L’Orignal
Translated by Barbara Goddard
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Winner of the 1979 Governor General’s Award for fiction, Maillet’s tale begins one day, not so very long ago but back when the world was young, when a hay-covered island materialized off shore on an island populated by fleas who soon took human form. Led by Don l’Orignal, the Flea Islanders were constantly at odds with the almost as clever but far more civilized upper crust mainlanders. In this far-fetched but always entertaining fable, Maillet holds up a mirror to Acadian history and to an all too fallible human nature.
Antonine Maillet is one of Canada’s best-known writers. The soul of contemporary Acadian literature, Maillet has been responsible for generating pride in her people through her stories depicting strong-willed Acadians. She was the first non-French citizen to win the Prix Goncourt.