Suzanne Martel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Suzanne Martel, see Suzanne Martel (disambiguation).
Suzanne Martel
Suzanne Martel.jpg
Born Suzanne Chouinard
(1924-10-08)October 8, 1924
Quebec City, Quebec
Died July 29, 2012(2012-07-29) (aged 87)
Ste-Adèle, Quebec
Occupation Novelist, short story writer, columnist
Genre Canadian Literature
Children's literature
Spouse Maurice Martel
Children Paul Martel
Bernard Martel
Luc Martel
Éric Martel
Alain-Anadi Martel
Yves Martel
Relatives Monique Corriveau

Suzanne Martel (October 8, 1924 - July 29, 2012) was a French Canadian journalist, novelist and author for Quebecois youth.[1] She was the daughter of Francis Xavier Chouinard, clerk of Quebec City between 1927 and 1961 and Lady Couillard, who resided at rue de Bernières in Quebec City until 1963. She also was the sister of Monique Corriveau, who was well known in Quebec as the author of more than twenty novels for teenagers.

Amazed by the universe of the novels of Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book), the Chouinard sisters invented an imaginary country, the Gotal, home to those they call "People in the wall". As children and teenagers, they wrote the adventures of these forty fictional characters they get to know as well as their own family. They were so attached to their writing that, when they reached twelve years old, their mother reportedly forbade them to write more than eight hours a day. Later, when they reached adulthood, they selected, in turn, a Montcorbier clan member and wrote of his adventures. This would become the most voluminous saga of the literary history of Quebec. Prior to the death of Monique Corriveau in 1976, the two sisters had written one for the other fifteen novels on their respective heroes. This saga remains largely unpublished to date.

Suzanne Martel studied at École des Ursulines, Quebec, then continued her studies in literature and languages at the University of Toronto.

She worked as a journalist for Le Soleil in 1945, then as a freelancer in 1946.

After World War II, Suzanne Martel came to live in Outremont with Maurice Martel, her husband, who was a lawyer. In subsequent years, the writer gave birth to six boys (Paul, Bernard, Luc, Eric, Alain-Anadi and Yves) who quickly became her primary audience.

In 1963, she published her first young adult novel, a tale of sci-fi, Surreal 3000 (English title: The City Under Ground), for which she received the prize of the Canadian Association of French-language publishers. This classic children's book - which is said to be the first science fiction novel in Quebec - is still being studied in some schools.

In 1971, she founded the weekly children's publication Safari in the newspaper Montréal-Matin. She was an editor until 1974 when the newspaper was sold to La Presse.

Subsequently, Martel published many novels that made her one of the greatest novelists of adventure both in Quebec and Canada.

On July 29, 2012, Martel died surrounded by her family in Ste-Adèle. [2][3]


Martel's book Jeanne, Fille du Roy (translated as The King's Daughter), is frequently read in highschool in Quebec and Ontario. She has won numerous awards, including:

  • Governor-General's Literary Awards (1994, Une belle journée pour mourir)
  • The Canada Council Children's Literature Prize (1982, Nos amis robots)
  • Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award (1981, The King's Daughter)
  • Air Canada Prize (1979 for a news story)
  • Canadian Authors' Association Awards Program Vicky Metcalf Body of Work Award (1974)
  • Alvine-Bélisle ASTED Prize (1974, Jeanne, Fille du Roi)
  • Province of Quebec Prize (1968, Lis-moi la baleine)
  • First Château Prize (1967, Fille du Roi)
  • Federal Centennial Prize (1967, Un trop bon diable)
  • ACELF Prize (1962, Surréal 3000; 1963, Lis-moi la baleine; 1979, Nos amis robots)
  • Most Boring Book Award (Jeanne, fille du Roy)[citation needed]
  • Oldest Living Author ('Old ones Own')


Her books include (in no particular order, English titles given in parenthesis if any):

  • Jeanne, Fille du Roy (The King's Daughter)
  • Marguerite Bourgeois
  • Menfou Carcajou
  • Les chemins d'eau
  • Une belle journee pour mourir
  • La baie du Nord
  • Nos Amis Robots (Robot Alert)
  • Surreal 3000 {originally Quatre montrealais dans l'an 3000} (The City Under Ground)
  • Titralak, Cadet de l'espace
  • Un orchestre dans l'espace
  • Pi-Oui (Peewee)
  • Contes de Noel
  • L'enfant de lumiere
  • Lis-moi la baleine {Illustrated by her son Eric}
  • Tout sur Noel {Activity book}
  • Marmitons {cookbook}
  • Goute a tout {cookbook}

She is also the author of a series of books called the Montcorbier series, developed with her little sister, Monique Corriveau who was also an author, when they were children. Those published are the first ones, in order:

  • Les aigles d'argent Boréal. 1999.
  • La musique de la lune – 1919. Boréal. 1998.
  • Arnaud de Moncorbier – 1914. Boréal. 1997.
  • Première armes – 1918. Fides. 1979.
  • L'apprentisage d'Arahéé. Fides. 1979.
  • A la découverte du Gotal (prelude). Fides. 1979

Her books have been translated into several languages including Spanish and Japanese.

Another dozen or so were self-published for the family only. Her memoirs, in five tomes, were also printed for the family and close friends.


  1. ^ Stott, Raymond E. Jones & Jon C. (2000). Canadian children's books : a critical guide to authors and illustrators (Rev. ed. ed.). Don Mills, Ont. [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. p. 305. ISBN 9780195412222. Retrieved 2 October 2013. Born: 8 October 1924, in Quebec City 
  2. ^ "Statement by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, on the Passing of Suzanne Martel". Canadian Heritage (Ottawa). July 31, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Mme Suzanne Martel (née Chouinard". Dignity Memorial (in French). Retrieved December 22, 2012. 

External links[edit]