Translated by Ray Ellenwood and illustrated by Jean-Paul Mousseau, The Sands of Dream is the first English translation of Thérèse Renaud’s earliest book, considered by some to be the first truly Surrealist collection published in Canada.
In the mid-forties, Thérèse Renaud was part of a group of young painters, writers, and dancers in Montreal who were called les automatistes. Their 1948 manifesto, Refus global, is no doubt the most important avant-garde text of its kind published in Canada. In 1946, at nineteen years of age and before she left Montreal for Paris, she wrote a series of poems in the Surrealist tradition of automatic writing, of which a selection were published in a chapbook entitled Les sables du rêve, illustrated with drawings in the automatist spirit by her friend, Jean-Paul Mousseau.
While Thérèse Renaud went on to write a half-dozen other volumes of poetry and prose that have built her reputation as an elder sister to a generation of important feminist writers from Quebec, Les sables du rêve was republished a number of times, notably in the avant-garde periodical Les Herbes Rouges, but it was never translated or published in English.
Thérèse Renaud passed away in December 2005.
Ray Ellenwood is a well-known translator of such authors as Marie-Claire Blais, Jacques Ferron, Claude Gauvreau and Gilles Hnault. He lives in Toronto.
The Department of Reissue is a new series initiated by BookThug to make available “lost” texts of importance to the tradition in which BookThug publishes. The Sands of Dream is the first publication of this new series.