French-canadian author, born in Saint-Boniface, Manitoba in 1909, died in Québec city in 1983.
Probably the best French-canadian author. Gabrielle grew up in the small French community of Saint-Boniface, near Winnipeg. She studied in order to become a teacher at the Winnipeg Normal Institute from 1928 to 1929.
In 1939, after two years spent in France and England, Gabrielle settled in Montréal where she lived by selling text to newspapers. While doing that, she was writting her first novel (Bonheur d'occasion, translated under the name The Tin Flute). Released in 1945, her novel was choosen as the book of the month of May by the Literary Guild of America, and the script was bought by Universal Pictures. In November 1947, Roy received the Femina award for the same book.
It has been said that Gabrielle Roy wedding in 1947 was strictly for convinience purpose, since she got married to a notorious homosexual. For the catholic French-canadian society, being married was an important aspect of women's life, and Gabrielle certainly gained a lot of freedom by being married.
She lived in Europe for three years, from 1947 to 1950, and then came back to Montréal, always moving from one continent to the other, but living mainly in Québec province.
Through her career, Roy won several awards, such as Duvernay award in 1956, General Gorvernor prize in 1955, David prize in 1971 and many more less important.
Growing up surrounded by an English environnement, Gabrielle achieved by her sensitivity to picture the difficulties faced by French-canadian in Canada. With Roger Lemelin, she was one of the first writter to write about the fact that French-canadian of her time were like foreigners in their own country.
Main novels from Gabrielle Roy are; Bonheur d'occasion (The Tin Flute) 1945, La Petite Poule d'Eau (Where nests the Water Hen) 1950, Alexandre Chenevert (The Cashier) 1954, La Route d'Altamont (The Road past Altamont) 1966 and Ces enfants de ma vie (Children of My Heart 1977.
Gabrielle Roy died in 1983, at Hôtel-Dieu in Québec city. She was writing an autobiography wich was released the following year under the name La détresse et l'enchantement. Gabrielle Roy left some major pieces of the French-canadian litterature and his probably one of the only Canadian author that is so widely read in both English and French.