Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Franklin Fiction

We don't usually notice a new book before we've even had a chance to read it -- but Dominique Fortier's On the Proper Use of Stars, which is to to be released this week by McClelland & Stewart, is a very unusual book. For while it will be (by my count) at least the twentieth novel inspired by the career of Sir John Franklin, it is the very first originally written in French by a Canadian Francophone writer. Originally published in Qu├ębec as De Bon Usage des Etoiles in 2008, it's been translated into English by Sheila Fischman. The publisher's website describes it thusly: "A sparkling, inventive debut novel inspired by Sir John Franklin's grand — but ultimately failed — quest to discover the Northwest Passage and by his extraordinary wife, Lady Jane." So of course we're keenly looking forward to receiving our copy -- the more so as it turns out that, according to this article in, she was first inspired to write it after learning of the Franklin expedition in the 2005 NOVA broadcast, in which your (usually somewhat more humble) editor appeared as a presenter. So watch this space: we'll review it as soon as possible after it's received!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that sounds really exciting. I'm so glad to hear that the author likes the English translation so I don't feel obligated to muddle through the French. Also, a film adaptation would be really exciting! Would that be the first commercial fictional film based on the expedition? Thanks as always for the updates.