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QUERELLE (working title)

Kevin Lambert

  • Original Title: QUERELLE DE ROBERVAL
  • Publication date: September 2018
  • Publisher: HéLIOTROPE
  • Country: CA
  • 290 print pages
  • Drama


  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: Canada
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Violence, Power, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Commitment, FAMILY, Homosexuality, PEOPLE facing life, Personal fulfilment, Revenge, Poverty, Inequality, Homophobia, Trade unionism, Intolerance, LOVE / HATE, Sex


Querelle is an Apollo whose beauty attracts all the boys of a patriarchal and conservative Canadian town. But he's also an employee of a sawmill of which the workers decide to go on strike because of unfair working conditions. He will be the witness and the actor of an increasingly violent strike.


Shortlisted for the 2019 Prix Littéraire du Monde
The novel was on several prize lists.
Nominated for the Medicis Prize 2019

Translation rights sold: France, Canada (English)

Kevin Lambert is a Canadian writer. QUERELLE DE ROBERVAL (2018) was his second novel and was republished in France under the title QUERELLE.


The employees of the Roberval sawmill are on strike.

Behind the seemingly cohesive conflict, we quickly discover everyone’s more personal demands.
At first, the employees share the same desire to escape extreme poverty and get revenge from Brian Ferland, their boss who plays dirty tricks and attacks, poisons and burns the strikers cold-heartedly. After a year of strike, these despicable attacks feed a rage buried deep inside and the situation, as well as the story, take a dangerous turn.

Madness takes hold of the workers, who join the infernal round dance of Querelle, a character inspired by Jean Genet’s protagonist in the famous novel QUERELLE DE BREST. Here, he has been copied and pasted in this Quebec landscape, chaotic element, sand in a well-oiled economical, heterosexual and patriarchal machine. And then, there is no stopping them. They break glass bottles on the beach, and take care of their business with baseball bats. And they do worse, much worse: they reach the Worst, like they would get to an island in the middle of the lac Saint-Jean, and they wallow into it. Enough with employers!

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