“I used to think this was a book about a disguise,
but now I know that it’s a book about translation.”
According to Cormier family lore, Pierrot Cormier escaped a British prison the night before the Acadian Deportation by disguising himself in a dress. In the invigorating, transliterative Entre Rive and Shore, Dominique Bernier-Cormier uses his ancestor’s escape to ponder what it means to live between two languages. Writing in a blend of English and French that evokes Chiac, “a living thing, growing gills, a voice from the future, prophetic and clear,” Bernier-Cormier probes the mutability of language and of translation.
A heady mix of English renderings of a single French poem, a Franco-fusion mélange of reflections on Acadian history and identity, and meditations on the evolution of language and the rapper Young Thug, Entre Rive and Shore exhibits “an eloquence we aren’t attuned to.” The result is protean, an exhilarating collection that reassesses what it means to live between two identities, two worlds, two languages.