Ouellette-Michalska, Madeleine

Madeleine Ouellette-Michalska, novelist, poet, essayist (b at Rivière-du-Loup 27 May 1930). She graduated from Université de Montréal (1968) and received a master's degree from Université du Québec à Montréal (1975). At first a teacher she became in 1976 a journalist and literary critic for Perspectives, Châtelaine, L'Actualité and Le Devoir. She also taught creative writing and journalistic criticism at the universities of Montréal and Ottawa. She contributed articles to many Québec literary reviews and the FM network of Radio-Canada broadcast her plays. She has received the Governor General's Award and the Prix Molson (from the ACADÉMIE CANADIENNE-FRANÇAISE).

She made her literary début as a short-story writer with Dôme (1968), and she has published a poetry collection, Entre le souffle et l'aine (1981), and 5 novels whose characters, especially the female ones, experience painful lives but slowly free themselves from their burdens to interrogate history itself. A theoretical essay, L'Échappée des discours de l'oeil (1981), shed light on all her works through its anthropological and psychoanalytical reflections on the patriarchal system, on relations between men and women, and on feminist attitudes toward writing. In her personal journal, La Tentation de dire (1985), the writer continues to develop the subjects close to her heart: Québec culture, the workings of the imagination, and the genetic memory of the body.