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list price: $16.95
category: Fiction
published: May 2020
publisher: Talonbooks

Searching for Sam

by Sophie Bienvenu, translated by Rhonda Mullins

tagged: poverty & homelessness, urban life, homelessness & poverty, animals

Mathieu lives in the street by choice, eschewing drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. His main companion is his dog Sam, a pitbull, who he says has helped keep him alive. When Sam disappears, Mathieu’s frantic search to find her brings him into confrontation with the secrets of his own past and the pain and grief that drove him onto the street. The novel is a monologue from Mathieu’s point of view, a sort of confessional in which Mathieu opens up to the reader. In flashbacks to his past, we discover the tragedies of his life and the people he has lost. In this book about survivors, Bienvenu takes a tender look at the underside of our cities, and the people that get left behind.

About the Authors
Sophie Bienvenu was born in Belgium. After studying visual communication in Paris, she moved to Quebec in 2001 and quickly established herself as a successful blogger. Her first novel, Et au pire, on se mariera (2011), was adapted into a film by the same name in 2017, and translated into English as Worst Case, We Get Married (Book*hug, 2019). She is also the author of two other novels, Chercher Sam (2014), and Autour d'elle (2016), and the poetry collection, Ceci n'est pas de l'amour (2016). She has also written books for children and teens, including the popular YA series, (k). Bienvenu lives in Montreal.

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator. She received the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Twenty-One Cardinals, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Les héritiers de la mine. And the Birds Rained Down, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was a CBC Canada Reads Selection. It was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, as were her translations of Élise Turcotte’s Guyana and Hervé Fischer’s The Decline of the Hollywood Empire. Rhonda currently lives in Montréal.

Contributor Notes

Sophie Bienvenu is an author and screenwriter. Her first novel, Et au pire, on se mariera, was published by La Mèche in 2011, and with France’s Éditions Noir sur Blanc in 2014. It earned her the Prix des Arcades de Bologne in 2013 and the Prix du premier roman de Chambéry 2015, and she co-wrote the adaptation for the big screen by director Léa Pool in 2017. Chercher Sam, her second novel, published in 2014 by Cheval d’août, was well received by critics and readers, and was on Ici Radio-Canada’s top 100 books. She likes: pit bulls, feminism, Montreal, the UFC, getting tattoos and wearing her boyfriend’s clothes. She hates pineapple, but takes no issue if you like them.

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