L'île, or le Centre de documentation virtuel sur la littérature québécoise, is an online reference centre that houses biographical and bibliographical information on over 1000 Quebec writers. Authors are organized both alphabetically and by the type of literature they produce: novel (roman), comic book (bande dessinée), essay (essai-étude), play (théâtre), etc. Most entries include an author photo. You can even search writers by their pseudonyms.
This French language site is an invaluable research resource. If you want to know who wrote Les belles soeurs, type the play's title ("les" excluded) into the bibliographic search feature (Recherche bibliographique): the answer (Michel Tremblay) appears below the search box, with a link to the author's biography. (Hint: The database's search features are keen on spelling: be sure to include appropriate accents and French characters. If you don't have a French keyboard, you can open up a Word document, type out the desired term with symbols inserted, and then copy and paste the term into l'île's search box.)
If you are doing a paper on children's authors in Quebec and don't know where to start, simply look at the list of authors organized by genre, find "jeunesse," or children's works, and browse the list of writers. Each name offers a clickable link to biographical information, as well as lists of the author's works organized alphabetically by title and chronologically by year of publication.
The site also compiles press articles about the authors included in the database, maintains links to Quebec libraries, literary magazines, cultural organizations, and author websites, and hosts special features like an online literary salon: the latter includes video recordings of author readings and lectures. L'île offers quick entry into the Quebec literary scene for experts and beginners alike.Posted by cmclaugh at February 8, 2008 5:51 PM