BOSS OF THE RIVER. Translated by Alan Sullivan
Edition: First edition in English
Toronto: Ryerson, 1947. Octavo, green cloth. A fine copy, no owner names. Dust jacket has nicks, minor rubbing and just a sliver of a chip at spine ends; near fine otherwise. First published in Montreal in 1937 as MENAUD, MAÎTRE-DRAVEUR, there were three versions of the original text, with the other two published in 1944 and 1964. I don't know which version Sullivan used, but likely the 1944 version. A nice copy, now uncommon in decent jacket. "Unlike the death-dealing frozen world of Maria Chapdelaine, Savard's Menaud has won a lasting place in Québécois hearts for its dithyrambic description of "quicksilver streams, the sapphire of blueberries, the perfumed canes of raspberries" in an enchanted landscape. Everything else about the novel is dated, from its ultramontane Catholicism to its certainty that greedy anglophones will destroy the countryside. But of all the romans de la terre, it most perfectly expresses the Québécois attachment to the land-an anti-capitalist nostalgia that still helps fuel today's debates about sovereignty." - Ray Conlogue, #19 in the Literary Review of Canada list of the 100 most important Canadian books.