Michel Jean - Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec
As a journalist and anchor, Michel Jean reports on reality with precision, lifts the veil on injustice, and brings truth to light. As a writer, he takes an unflinching look at his Innu origins and invites us to look at Indigenous history through stories that are unique and moving. For Michel Jean, doing worthwhile work is a natural calling, a sort of deep desire to grow closer to people.
There are novels from which we retain clear, indelible mental images of their characters, they are so authentic and endearing. Michel Jean’s novels are an eloquent example of this. We remember Shashuan Pileshish, the swallow grandmother from Atuk, elle et nous, whose reserve is no impediment to her courage. We remember the unique Kukum, Almanda Siméon, the force of nature who tears down obstacles in her path with emotional intelligence. And we divine between the lines the author’s quest for identity, and his desire to reconnect with his roots.
Winning the prestigious Prix littéraire France-Québec in 2020, Michel Jean has become an iconic writer in Indigenous literature, experiencing both critical and popular success. Beyond his success and many honours, the author is captivating for his ability to open the eyes of thousands of readers – ours included – on either side of the Atlantic. To read Michel Jean’s body of work is to witness a demonstration of empathy and learn a lesson in humanity. It is to awaken one’s awareness, and to let truth transit from the head to the heart, by way of emotion.
About the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
The Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec is a distinction bestowed by CALQ honouring those individuals who have played a prominent role in Québec's artistic development.
The CALQ would like to thanks its partners, the Caisse de la Culture and the newspaper Le Devoir.