The Road Past Altamont

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First published in French in 1966, The Road Past Altamont pierces to the heart of a child's world, craeting a delicate, yet substantial network of impressions, emotions, and relationships. In her writing, Gabrielle Roy allowed nothing extraneous or false to stand, according to the translator, Joyce Marshall. The literary style of Roy, whose fiction reflects her childhood on the Canadian prairie, has often been compared to that of Willa Cather. The Road Past Altamont takes a sensitive French-Canadian girl, Christine, from childhood innocence to maturity. Four connected stories reveal profound moments during her early years in the vastness of Manitoba. Christine's testament to Grandmother's creative power, her great adventure with an old gentleman at Lake Winnipeg and her clandestine one with a crude family of movers, her journey through time and space with aging Maman-all these characters and events convey Gabrielle Roy's preoccupation with childhood and old age, the passage of time and mystery of change, and the artist's relation to the world.