Lemelin has published 4 novels, a short-story collection and some nonfiction. Most successful have been his novels, Au pied de la pente douce (1944; tr The Town Below, 1948) and Les PLOUFFE (1948; tr The Plouffe Family, 1950). Critical comment was less favourable to Pierre le magnifique (1952; tr In Quest of Splendour, 1955) and especially to Le Crime d'Ovide Plouffe (1982; tr The Crime of Ovide Plouffe, 1984).
Lemelin also wrote the long-lasting TV series based on Les Plouffe, a great success on CBC's English and French networks in the 1950s, and the scenarios for the popular screen and TV adaptations of the same novel, directed by Gilles CARLE. Director Denys ARCAND's film, Le Crime d'Ovide Plouffe (1984), based on Lemelin's screenplay, toned down some of the original melodrama, the author's major flaw.
A pioneer of social realism in French Canada, Lemelin's best writing is characterized by keen observation of his compatriots, with the main targets of his satire being clericalism, nationalism, the conventional Québec family, sexual taboos and ignorance. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada and in 1987 was made an honorary member of the Union des écrivains québecois. In 1990 he received the French Legion d'honneur in recognition of his contribution to French culture.
Author B.-Z. SHEK
Links to Other Sites
An online exhibition of documents about some of Canada's most celebrated writers. From the Literary Manuscripts Collection of Library and Archives Canada.
Roger Lemelin: Manuscript Gallery
View excerpts of Lemelin's screenplay of the film “Les Plouffe,” typescripts from radio and television shows, and pages from his books. Click on the links for more. From the Literary Manuscripts Collection of Library and Archives Canada.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...