Author Michèle Laliberté plans to talk about her debut novel “Nativa” at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, in a conversation with Museum L-A Board Member Camden Martin via Zoom.

This free, public program, hosted by the Lewiston Public Library and Museum L-A, will stream to the library’s Facebook page. This program will be conducted entirely in French.

Michèle Laliberté Contributed photo

“Nativa” is the fictional diary of Florida Faubert, the author’s paternal grandmother. It begins with the story of two children born in Sainte-Cécile de Valleyfield, Quebec, separated from their families and sent to Lewiston in 1895: Florida to her aunt Odile, and Nativa to the orphanage of the Parisian nuns of Notre-Dame de Sion.

Back in Canada a few years later, Nativa becomes Camillien Houde’s mistress. If the former bank manager remains until today a famous figure of the Conservative Party, the woman who joined him on the sly in his suite at the Hotel Mont-Royal in Montreal will have known only shadow and (dis)illusion.

The result of meticulous research and a collection of family anecdotes, this hybrid text combines Florida’s imagined testimony with family photos and archival documents. Through a singular balancing act between fiction and reality, like Faubert’s life, Laliberté breaks a century-old taboo to rehabilitate the memory of her great-aunt and, by the same token, take a new look at an important figure in Quebec’s national history.

Laliberté has been teaching languages, literature, translation, cinema and writing for more than 30 years. She began teaching German in Montréal, then translation, literature and French in several different institutions in Burlington and Montréal, including McGill University and Université de Montréal. She in 2011 joined the Université du Québec en Outaouais, where she is now Professor in translation.

Her main field of research is theater and audiovisual translation, literary writing and film adaptation. Nativa is her first novel.

Martin was born in Lewiston and grew up in Auburn. He attended Edward Little High School until his sophomore year before attending the Lycée Albert Camus in Nîmes, France. He was able to do so after having won a scholarship that permitted him to study in France for two months, which turned into him studying there for two years, his junior and senior year.

After having graduated from both Edward Little and Lycée Albert Camus, Camden took a sabbatical year where he worked in French language customer service. Afterwards, he went to school at the Cégep Saint Félicien in Québec, where he studied Environmental protection. Upon returning to Maine, he worked at Museum L-A before becoming the French Teacher at Saint Dominic Academy.

Copies of “Nativa” are available to purchase directly from the publisher.

The Zoom registration link will be posted to Lewiston Public Library’s website, lplonline.org, and Facebook page prior to the program. For more information, contact the LPL Adult & Teen Services desk at 207-513-3135 or [email protected].

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