A Season in the Life of Emmanuel

A Season in the Life of Emmanuel (French: Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel) is a French Canadian novel by Marie-Claire Blais, published in 1965.[1]

A Season in the Life of Emmanuel
First US English-language edition
AuthorMarie-Claire Blais
Original titleUne saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel
TranslatorDerek Coltman
PublisherGrasset (France)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (US)
Jonathan Cape (UK)
Publication date
Published in English

The novel centres on a large rural farm family in Quebec headed by domineering matriarch Antoinette,[1] and depicts their lives around the time of the birth of Emmanuel, the family's sixteenth child.[1] The novel focuses primarily on Emmanuel's teenage siblings Pomme, Héloïse, "Septième" (Fortuné-Mathias) and Jean-Le Maigre, who are all in some state of rebellion against the family order;[2] in its themes of moral and sexual transgression, the novel is part of the anti-terroir tradition in Quebec literature.

The novel was adapted for film by director Claude Weisz in 1972.


The novel won the Prix Médicis and the Prix Jean-Hamelin in 1976.

The novel was selected for the 2008 edition of Le Combat des livres, in which it was defended by actor and director Serge Denoncourt.


  1. "Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel" at The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. "Nouveau Roman Made Easy" Archived February 25, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Canadian Literature (Volume 31), Winter 1967.

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