Droits / Rights

Bianca Joubert

Couleur chair

192 pages | 23 août 2022 | Couverture : Leslie Amine

A woman from a family that has always kept quiet about its past explores the construction of identity around skin color. With help from documentation and genealogy, Bianca Joubert explores different times in the lives of her ancestors. She imagines people, scenes, and events and connects them to such pivotal moments in history as the abolition of slavery, the smallpox epidemic, and world wars.

We’re introduced to Adriana, a Mi’kmaq child adopted by a white family after the death of her parents. Adriana crosses paths with a runaway slave, who opens her up to both reading and the concept of otherness.

Meanwhile, the fate of Africans ripped from their homeland and scattered across America plays out in another branch of the family. Couleur chair, therefore, juxtaposes the history of two peoples on whose backs America was built.

This partly autobiographical, partly historical novel examines the quest for identity and roots, the liberation of the body, and the emancipation of the spirit, but it’s also a story in which cousins can fly and secret lovers walk up walls. In lucid, poignant prose, the author takes us from the shores of the St. Lawrence River to Gorée Island, a journey that reveals great breadth and diversity and evokes a world in which the blending of cultures can be both painful and luminous.

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Bianca Joubert

Bianca Joubert was born in Montmagny in 1972. She grew up near the St. Lawrence River and later moved to Montreal and began traveling the world. A travel writer, she’s worked as a freelance journalist and photographer, has a degree in visual arts, and practices dance. She explores otherness, human migration, and issues of identity and colonialism, while merging the poetic and the political. She’s won two Radio-Canada Literary Prizes and is the author of Le brodeur (2012) and Le léopard ne se déplace pas sans ses taches (2016), both published by Marchand de feuilles. Couleur chair is her third novel. 

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