A DONEGAL woman who has just released a translation of a French memoir said the project was a labour of love.
Anne Marie Faulkner, a translator from Moville, fell in love with the book when studying for her degree in Paris twenty years ago. The memoir, which tells the story of a boy growing up in Brittany in the 1940s, came back into her life once again when she was studying for her Masters in Translation at Queen’s University in 2016.
‘Each Day is a Farewell’ was written by French writer Alain Rémond whose family relocated to Brittany from Normandy when he was six years old.
“The author depicts their adventures, their schooling, and the role of the church,” explained Anne Marie.
“They are materially-deprived, but rich in adventure, fun and happiness.
“There is also the idea of miracles which seem to befall the family again and again which reinforces their Catholic faith. There are the comings and goings of neighbours into their house which was formerly used as a cafe. Rémond also discusses how history has shaped politics in their town.
“There is tragedy in the book too, alcoholism, strained relationships, real poverty, and hurt.”
Speaking to the Donegal News Anne Marie said the text will evoke childhood memories for many. For her, she was able to draw comparisons with growing up in Donegal in the 1980s, in a Catholic household, her schooling in a rural setting, and the games and adventures she had as a child.
“It is an endearing book. It is a very good story,” said Anne Marie.
“There are ups and downs in the book as there are in everyone’s life. He touches on several important themes, some obviously sad, however, he does not dwell on them. The language used is quite simple and so it is very much an eloquent read which I have tried my utmost to replicate. It is highly descriptive and yet does not get bogged down with unnecessary metaphors, similes or wee expressions.
“I fell in love with French at secondary school (Carndonagh Community School) and then proceeded to complete a BA in French Studies at the University of London Institute in Paris. My degree was literature-laden and I was encouraged to read Rémond’s book by my grammar lecturer, which I did. Then only a few years ago, when I was studying for my MA in Translation at Queen’s, I came across the book again and felt it was such a good story and that I had an affinity with it too.
“I proceeded to contact the original publishers in Paris. Granted permission to undertake a translation, I then contacted various Irish publishers and Shanway Press in Belfast came on board and we took it from there. It was a labour of love.”
The book is part of a trilogy and Anne Marie is hoping to continue on and translate the other texts in the collection if granted permission.
‘Each Day is a Farewell’ is available in The Bookmark in the Courtyard Shopping Centre and Letterkenny Shopping Centre, Mac’s Buncrana, Doherty’s Newsagents Carndonagh, Brendan’s in Drung, Costcutter’s Moville, Foyle Books and Little Acorns, Derry and online at shanway.com.
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