Urban Landscape

Writers of Montréal

Montreal is unique in the world in possessing a rich literary heritage in both English and French. But for idiosyncratic reasons that cut to the city's very heart, as Hugh Hood has put it so astutely, "anybody who lives in Montreal, whatever his language, sees himself from time to time as a member of a minority." (From The Writers of Montreal by Elaine Kalman Naves).

Writers from around the world who have made their homes in Montreal grapple with questions of reconciling loyalty to their origins and to their own most private selves with the need to find a readership and the desire to belong to the society where they live. They address the difficulties of adjusting to not one but two new languages in a host society itself feuding over language. Putting Down Roots: Montreal's Immigrant Writers follows Elaine Kalman Naves' exploratory journeys among writers of Italian, Haitian, Arab, South Asian, and Chinese origin as well as those writing in Yiddish, Spanish and Hungarian.

Louis Fréchette

Mordecai Richler

Gabrielle Roy

Ann Charney

Michel Tremblay

Mary di Michele

Emile Ollivier