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Born in 1962 in Montreal, Canada, Anne-Marie Sicotte has published in French more than fifteen books and sequels – novels, biographies, art and photography essays– in which she celebrates many aspects of Quebec’ shistory, with a preference for the uncomfortable ones that need to been lightened. Her aim is to touch readers by bringing them into the period and into people’s lives and souls. Her most famous achievementis the historical fiction Les Accoucheuses, published between 2006 and 2008. This trilogy centers around the lives of two midwives in Montreal during the mid-1800s. Léonie and her daughter Flavie fervently desire to broaden their knowledge and skills, and to help the most disadvantaged women in society. But they must fight against rigid social conventions that circumscribe the lives of women, and against the many groups that condemn their audacity: not only doctors, but also the clergy and other “right-thinking” citizens. Even their own husbands will succumb to the spectre of judgement and condemnation. In these novels, the practical concerns of daily life are juxtaposed against larger social tensions in a city facing its own share of turmoil and tragedy, including a massive influx of Irish immigrants, deadly typhus epidemics, a devastating fire and political unrest between French and English Montrealers.
Since then, Anne-Marie Sicotte works on bringing to life a fascinating but difficult period of her nation’s history, the one following the British Conquest of 1760 and the so-called Rébellions. She has written a tetralogy of historial fiction, an essay and,most recently, an introductory biography of a famous democrat leader, Louis-Joseph Papineau.She was convinced that this period had not been dug deep enough, and that there was still a lot of hidden information. She found that most historians had knowingly avoided digging the period not to exhume vipers that could have bitten them. The fact, for example, that Quebec’s governors and their entourage reigned like Kings, by making unfair laws and discriminating against French-Canadians; they, on the contrary, were accused of sedition and revolutionary acts each time they wanted to improve their situation, either by writing petitions, asking for better conditions or electing their own candidates at Parliament. This story is, for Anne-Marie Sicotte, an exact reflection of certain events that are taking place now in the modern world.That’s why history – people’s lives and battles – is so important to reenact.