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Mama’s Boy by David Goudreault, Translated by JC Sutcliffe

Mama’s Boy by David Goudreault, Translated by JC Sutcliffe

Literature in Translation Series
Literary Fiction
Publication Date: June 11, 2018
184 pages
8 x 5.25 inches
ISBN 9781771663823

Trade Paperback
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EPub EBook
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Winner of the 2016 Grand Prix litteraire Archambault

My mother was always committing suicide. She started out young, in an amateur capacity. But it didn’t take long for Mama to work out how to make psychiatrists take notice, and to get the respect reserved for the most serious cases.

Written with gritty humour in the form of a confession, Mama’s Boy recounts the family drama of a young man who sets out in search of his mother after a childhood spent shuffling from one foster home to another. A bizarre character with a skewed view of the world, he leads the reader on a quest that is both tender and violent.

A runaway bestseller among French readers, Mama’s Boy is the first book in a trilogy that took Quebec by storm, winning the 2016 Grand Prix littéraire Archambault, and selling more than twenty thousand copies. Now, thanks to translator JC Sutcliffe, English readers will have the opportunity to absorb this darkly funny and disturbing novel from one of Quebec’s shining literary stars.

Watch the Book Trailer for Mama’s Boy

Watch the Book Launch and Reading:

Praise for Mama’s Boy:

David Goudreault will captivate you from the first line!” —Kim Thuy, author of Vi and Ru

“This is a ‘tour de force’ by David Goudreault, a powerful first novel, written in a chiseled, paced, visual style that one is not ready to forget.” —Huffington Post

A fierce, pugnacious, and dazzling tale, the trailer of which could be set to a Pixies song (remember Fight Club?).”
Le Vif/L’Express (Belgique)

“David Goudreault stays his course, explaining nothing, forcing the reader to make up his own mind about this character, lost and endearing in spite of his madness, his self-absorption, and his cruelty.” —Culturebox (France)

Press Coverage:

Read an Excerpt from David Goudreault’s Raw, Powerful, Darkly Funny Mama’s Boy —Open Book

Tout le monde en parle with David Goudreault, Sophie Bienvenu and Christian Guay Poliquin —Tout le monde en parle

Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Fiction Preview —49th Shelf

Most Anticipated Summer 2018 Reads —Becky Toyne, The Globe and Mail

Interview with JC Sutcliffe —Quebec Reads

The Enfant Terrible of Quebec Literature —Stanké / Groupe Librex newsletter

Pre-Holiday Book Haul / New Books for June —Eric Karl Anderson, Lonesome Reader, via Youtube

“Despite the narrator’s repellent behavior, readers will be drawn in by his quick wit, sharp observations, and childlike longing for his mother’s love.” —Publishers Weekly

“There is a slyness at work here that Goudreault handles marvellously.” —Alex Good, Canadian Notes and Queries

First Fiction Friday: Mama’s BoyAll Lit Up

16 Reads for Summer Weekends —Toronto Star

Mama’s Boy is dark and twisted, but it is also incredibly amusing and raw.” —Rafael Sanchez Montes, Three Percent

Mama’s Boy does contain a bit of a twist, and that has much to do with the way the story is told completely through the eyes of our deranged narrator.  You see, while he talks the talk, he doesn’t always walk the walk, and eventually we realise that our friend is very much a Loser (with the capital L firmly emphasised).  It’s here that the humour starts to outweigh the darkness, with Goudreault letting us in on the joke, allowing his anti-hero just enough rope to hang himself (if never fatally).” —Tony’s Reading List

“A rollercoaster ride an insight into how being in care effects you as a person… once again another outstanding read from Quebec.” —Winston’s Dad’s Blog

“With traces of Catcher in the Rye, Mama’s Boy is a dark, funny and even saddening tale of an orphaned boy where hypocrisies are to be re-examined and immorality to be re-considered.” —World Translation Review


David Goudreault is a novelist, poet and songwriter. He was the first Quebecer to win the World Cup of Slam Poetry in Paris, France. David leads creative workshops in schools and detention centres across Quebec—including the northern communities of Nunavik—and in France. He has received a number of prizes, including Quebec’s Medal of the National Assembly for his artistic achievements and social involvement and the Grand Prix littéraire Archambault for his first novel, La Bête à sa mère (Mama’s Boy). He is also the author of Le bête a sa cage and Abattre la bête, both of which will appear in English translation from Book*hug. He lives in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

JC Sutcliffe is a writer, translator, book reviewer, and editor who has lived in England, France, and Canada. She has reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement, The Globe and Mail and the National Post, among others.

Additional information

Dimensions 8 × 5.25 in
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