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Alain Farah

Alain Farah is a writer and academic who was born in Montreal and continues to live there. He earned a Doctorate in literary studies from UQAM in 2009. He is an assistant professor at McGill University. Farah published his first novel, Matamore no 29 (Le Quartanier) in 2008, followed by Pourquoi Bologne (Le Quartanier) in 2013. This is his only work that has been translated into English. Farah is currently writing a third novel that is inspired by his father’s life as a Christian in the Middle East. In 2004 his debut poetry collection, Quelque chose se détache du port (Le Quartanier) was shortlisted for the Prix Emile Nelligan.

Farah’s novel Mille secrets, mille dangers (Le Quartanier, 2021) won the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award–French fiction


Ravenscrag: A Novel

Translated by Lazer Lederhendler.
Toronto: Arachnide, 2015.
Translation of: Pourquoi Bologne.
PS9611.A72 P6813 2015

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

The writer Alain Farah is living in two time periods, and he feels out of place in both. At the opening of his story, we find ourselves at McGill in 1962 and 2012. But the real problem lies elsewhere: on campus, a psychiatrist is conducting dangerous and unethical experiments on his patients. The writer’s uncle, Nab Safi, knows something about it, but soon he won’t be around to tell his story.

And so begins an investigation in which time, place, memory, and people collide. A mother in the Lebanese ghetto bets her son in a game of dice to settle her debts. Dinosaurs are resurrected. An odd gun will be used to determine the outcome for those who truly believe. A torn old photo and a gothic swimming pool lead to the disturbing depths of Ravenscrag, a mournful manor with 36 chambers…

Ravenscrag is an intriguing and truly original blend of retro science fiction and autobiography. It’s about resilience, literature as remedy, and ultimately, it’s a novel about survival through storytelling.

Awards and Honours

2014 Governor General’s Literary Award, Fiction, French language (Finalist for original edition, Pourquoi Bologne)


Alain Farah faculty page at McGill University

Publisher House of Anansi Presss, owner of the Arachnide imprint