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Trent Professor's Novel Named as Finalist in Au Prix des Lecteurs Radio-Canada


Sylvie Bérard's Terres des Autres Competes with Six Other French Novels for Prestigious Title

Tuesday, March 21, 2006, Peterborough

Trent University is pleased to announce that Terres des Autres, a science-fiction novel written by Professor Sylvie Bérard of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department, has recently been named as one of six finalists in Au Prix des Lecteurs Radio-Canada.

In its sixth edition, CBC's Au Prix des Lecteurs Radio-Canada provides an opportunity for readers to sit on a jury and vote for their favourite book from a list of pre-selected works. The jury is selected by Radio-Canada and, this year, is led by well-known playwright, Jean-Marc Dalpé. The winner will be announced on May 6 at the Salon du Livre du Grand Sudbury.

When asked about what she hopes this prestigious nomination will do for her and her book, Professor Bérard said, "One thing I hope, now, is that the competition will bring me more readers…I would be lying if I said I don't write to be read!"

Terres des Autres, a novel Professor Bérard's describes as "a cowboy and Indians story set in an outlandish desert", focuses on a confrontation between two civilizations – one human and the other reptilian, living on the planet Sielxth. It is the only science-fiction book among the six finalists.

"It is a very harsh story that involves meanness, narrow-mindedness, violence against other species, and slavery – from both sides," explains Professor Bérard. "But it also tells about unique contacts…special moments. And I hope it contains hope for a better future."

Other finalists include: La vie, sens unique, a psychological narrative by Jean-François Somain; Lise Bédard's Wilfrid…la qu ête de l'impossible and Jean Mohsen Fahmy's L'agonie des dieux, which are both historical novels; L'homme aux yeux de loup by Gilles Dubois, a contemporary story where the characters travel from the Great North to Iraq; and Obsessions, a short story collectionby Aurélie Resch.

Terre des Autres is Professor Bérard's first independent novel, though she co-authored Elle meurt a la fin with Brigitte Caron in 1994 and she has been writing short stories for over 15 years. In addition to being named a finalist in this prestigious competition, Professor Bérard was also awarded the Grand Prix de la science-fiction et du fantastique québécois in 2005 for Terre des Autres and the book will soon be translated into English by EDGE books. Professor Bérard has been teaching with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures since September 2002.

To learn more about Terre des Autres and Au Prix des Lecteurs Radio-Canada, visit Radio-Canada's website at http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/prixdeslecteurs/. The website also showcases short clips of Professor Bérard and the six other finalists reading from their books (pending).


For more information, please contact:
Sylvie Bérard, Modern Languages and Literatures, 748-1011 x5383

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Last Updated March 21, 2006