Éthier-Blais, Jean

Jean Éthier-Blais, professor, writer, literary critic (b at Sturgeon Falls, Ont 15 Nov 1925). Professor of French literature at McGill since 1962, Éthier-Blais regularly contributed literary criticism to Le Devoir from 1961. Some of these articles were published in Signets (3 vols, 1967, 1973). His original works include poems, stories, essays and novels (Mater Europa, 1968, and Les Pays étrangers, 1982). Éthier-Blais handles the universal themes of love and death, but always through the perspective of his own experience and the cultural situation of French Canadians. He became a member of the French Canadian Academy in 1971; in 1983 the St-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montréal awarded him its prestigious Prix Duvernay and in 1989 he received the Prix Athanase David, Quebec's highest literary honour.