Nauetakuan, a silence for a noise by Natasha Kanapé-Fontaine, translated by Howard Scott

Nauetakuan, a silence for a noise by Natasha Kanapé-Fontaine, translated by Howard Scott


Literature in Translation Series
Indigenous Fiction
Publication Date: June 11, 2024
5.25 x 8 inches
236 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781771668941

Trade Paperback

“What’s happening to you is just that the visible and the invisible are finding each other through you. You are the passageway for our reconnection. You and your generation are the ones who will give our memory back to us…”

Monica, a young woman studying art history in Montreal, has lost touch with her Innu roots. When an exhibition unexpectedly articulates a deep, intergenerational wound, she begins to search for a stronger connection to her Indigeneity. A quickly found friendship with Katherine, an Indigenous woman whose life is filled with culture and community, underscores for Monica the possibilities of turning from assimilation and toxic masculinity to something much deeper—and more universal than she expects.

Travelling across the continent, from Eastern Canada to Vancouver to Mexico City, Monica connects with other Indigenous artists and thinkers, learning about the power of traditional ways and the struggles of other Nations. Throughout these journeys, physical and creative, she is guided by visions of giant birds and ancestors, who draw her back home to Pessamit. Reckonings with family and floods await, but amidst strange tides, she reconnects to her language, Innu-aimun, and her people.

A timely and riveting story of reclamation, matriarchies, and the healing ability of traditional teachings, Nauetakuan, a silence for a noise underscores how reconnecting to lineage and community can transform Indigenous futures.

Praise for Nauetakuan, a silence for a noise

“A love letter to residential school survivors dedicated to their descendants… To create the universe of Nauetakuan, populated by giant animals and marvelous creatures, including the thunderbird, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine was inspired by her own dreams, various native myths, and ancient legends taught to her by Joséphine Bacon.” —Le Devoir

“Poet, singer, actress, and Innu activist, the talented Natasha Kanapé Fontaine has written her first hard-hitting novel this fall, which cuts through us like a lightning bolt.” —Le Journal de Montréal

Press Coverage:

Most Anticipated: Our 2024 Spring Fiction Preview —49th Shelf

About the Author

NATASHA KANAPÉ FONTAINE is an Innu writer, poet, and interdisciplinary artist from Pessamit, on the Nitassinan (North Shore, Quebec). She lives in Tio’tia:ke, known as Montreal. Her critically acclaimed poetry and essays are widely taught and have been translated into several languages. In 2017, she received the Rights and Freedoms Award for her poetry and contribution to bringing people closer through art, writing, performance, dialogue, respect, and cultural exchange. In 2021, she received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres de la République française. She also works as a translator, screenwriter, sensitivity reader, and consultant on Indigenous literature.

HOWARD SCOTT is a literary translator living in Montreal who translates fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, often with Phyllis Aronoff. He received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation for The Euguelion by Louky Bersianik and, with Phyllis Aronoff, won the Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Award for The Great Peace of Montreal of 1701 by Gilles Havard. The translating duo were also awarded a Governor General’s Literary Award for their translation of Descent into Night by Edem Awumey. Scott is past president of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada.