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Nadine Ltaif

Nadine Ltaif has Lebanese ancestry but she was born in Cairo, Egypt. She studied in Lebanon and immigrated in 1980 to Montreal where she earned a master’s degree in French Studies at the Université de Montréal. She is known as a French-language poet and translator, yet few of her books have been translated into English.

Changing Shores book cover

Poetry & Prose (Autobiographical)

Changing Shores

Translated by Christine Tipper.
Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2009.
Translation of Entre les fleuves.
PS8573 .T34 E5713 2007

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

One woman’s emotional and cultural journey is luxuriously illustrated in this moving collection, as she artfully recounts leaving Lebanon for a new life in Canada. In a voice that blends prose with poetry, she copes with the newfound sense of rootlessness she gains in exchange for her new freedom. Though she is finally allowed to pursue the thirst for love and desire for acceptance that her former lifestyle forbade, she unexpectedly finds sadness in what she has to give up. She richly conveys her rebirth through references to Arabic mythology and ultimately comes to terms with her exile through celebration.



Translated by Christine Tipper.
Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2020.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Nadine Ltaif’s poems reflect deeply on the meaning of life, of regrets and the irrepressible determination to continue living. The poet takes us to Carthage; to Andalusia to contemplate its history of Moors, wars and religion; to India where women’s lives, past and present, are expressed through vivid imagery. Hamra sees the exiled poet return to Beirut, the childhood home she fled in 1975. Yet, her poems are full of colour and lightness as she explores her old neighbourhood. “This you will not read” is a letter of love and absence in Montreal. Journeys are inspirational for Ltaif.

Metamorphoses of Ishtar book cover


The Metamorphoses of Ishtar

Translated by John Mikhail Asfour.
Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2011.
Translation of Les métamorphoses d’Ishtar.
PS9573 .T34 M4813 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis



Anthology (Poetry)


In Voices in the Desert: An Anthology of Arabic-Canadian Women Writers, ed. Elizabeth Dahab. Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2002, 104-108.
PS8235 .W7 V66 2002

English translation from the French by Shérif Ltaif of selections from Les métamorphoses d’Ishtar and Entre le fleuves.

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Carrière, Marie.  “The Sorrows of Exile: The Role of Mourning in Nadine Ltaif’s Poetry.”  In Textualizing the Immigrant Experience in Contemporary Quebec, eds. Susan Ireland and Patrice J. Proulx. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004, 217-226.
PQ3917 .Q3 T49 2004

Mence, Marielle Catherine. “Exiled Tongues of Two Migrant Women.” M.A. diss., University of Calgary, 1997.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Relja, Katarina. “Creating a New Territoire Imaginaire: Identity of Displacement in the Works of Two Migrant Quebecois Women Writers”.” M.A. diss., University of Alberta, 1995.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

L’arbre qui dort rêve à ses racines.  Montréal : Office national du film du Canada, 1992.
Internet resource Catalogue record


Publisher Guernica Editions

Nadine Ltaif personal website