Noted Franco-American writer to read from works at Bates College

Normand Beaupré, a Maine author who writes in French and English, visits Bates College to read from his work at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 11, in Skelton Lounge, Chase Hall, 56 Campus Ave.

Beaupré has written 11 books. Among his notable earlier works is Le Petit Mangeur des Fleurs (“The Little Flower Eater”; Les Editions JCL, 1999), a novel based on the author’s early life in Biddeford, Maine.

For La Souillonne, monologue sur scène (Llumina Press, 2006), Beaupré created a dramatic monologue by a character adapted from Le Petit Mangeur.

“The Souillonne reveals, through her stories, a life full of setbacks, low self-esteem and friendships preserved in the depths of her very soul,” a publisher’s description notes. “Rooted in unshakeable common sense, much like the people who are used to daily toil (such as mill workers), the Souillonne’s way of telling things is direct and, at times, harsh.”

The piece was performed in Paris, Dijon and Angers, France, by Maine actress Marie Cormier, as well as in Lamèque, N.B., and Lewiston and Biddeford, Maine.

Beaupré followed “La Souillonne” with the sequel La Souillonne, Deusse (Llumina, 2008) and The Boy With the Blue Cap – Van Gogh in Arles (Llumina, 2008), a history-based novel.

In 2009, Beaupré edited Voix Francophones de Chez Nous, a contemporary Franco-American anthology of tales in French.

Beaupré taught Francophone and world literature for 30 years at the University of New England, retiring in 2000. An avid traveler, he spent two sabbaticals in Europe, an important source of inspiration for his writing. He earned a bachelor’s degree as a double major in French and English at St. Francis College, an institutional forerunner to UNE. He received a master’s and a doctorate in French literature from Brown University.

He was decorated with the Order of Arts and Literature by the French government in 2008 for his outstanding contribution to French culture.

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