Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Before All Dignity is Lost - A new book by Norman Beaupré

About the Book

What would you do if you suddenly discovered you had AIDS? What would you think? This is the epistolary story of a young man who suffers through the ignominy of AIDS and dies from it at age 34. He's not the stereotypical victim, and he has his story to tell. He especially wants to tell how the medical system failed him in his battle with AIDS. "The stark truth was that the physicians of my treatment team, from the primary care physician to the infectious diseases team to the seven other specialists with whom I had been sent on consultation had no training and no education in treating the HIV and didn't seek or send me to consult with anyone who did," he writes dispiritedly. To the recipient of the letters and correspondent, this young man, Drew, is seen as the "bad luck kid." Drew not only struggles with AIDS but his car is vandalized, the bike on which he was riding was hit broadside, and he was sent to the hospital. On top of everything else, his mother leaves home which means that he has to care for his brothers and his alcoholic father. Episodes of ill luck follow one another in a seemingly endless stream. Drew can be compared to a present-day Job, a Biblical figure with which he identifies. It can also be said of Drew that the spirit can truly soar above and beyond one's sense of vulnerability and disease.

About the author

Norman Beaupré, a Franco-American, was born in southern Maine. He received a Ph.D. in French Literature from Brown University in 1974. He is presently Professor Emeritus at the University of New England, Biddeford, Maine. He continues to pursue his two great interests, travel and writing. He is the author of a bilingual [French/English] folk art book, four books in French, and one novel in English, Marginal Enemies. He is presently working on a novel based on Van Gogh in Arles and visited Arles, St-Rémy, and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in October 2005. He has just returned from a visit to Amsterdam where he did research at the Van Gogh Museum.
For more information, visit his website at

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ste-Genevieve Conference - November 16-19, 2006

The Fifth Annual Ste-Genevieve Conference is about to take place in Ste-Genevieve Missouri. As in previous years, the conference will focus on French Settlements and Culture of North America and the Caribbean. It is sponsored by the French Heritage Society.

For a copy of the program and some information on Ste Genevieve, link here.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Du Monde d’à Côté - November 9, 2006 - Orono, ME

Theater that celebrates the Franco-American Fact

November 9, 2006
Minsky Auditorium
University of Maine, Orono, ME
7:00 PM-9:00 PM
Admission: $3.00

Les Sacrés Monologues is a production made up of a number of monologues and dialogs, each one capturing the main character at a major turning point in his or her life. Characters depicted are all Franco-Americans and/or Acadians. The troupe draws from a current repertory of twelve individual pieces written by Grégoire Chabot to create a full show. Each piece is about 15-20 minutes in length with most available in both North American French and English versions.

The Orono performance will consist of the following five pieces:
  1. Lucienne (in French) has the main character reviewing two major life events she thinks she should have handled better. Set in the 1950s or 60s
  2. Simone (in English) describes a few of the issues that a 20-something girl has to deal with as she tries to adapt to being a maid for a rich family down south, after spending her early years on a potato farm up north. Set in the late 1930s.
  3. Set in the late 1920s, Zithée (in French) showcases the reaction of a woman who has just realized she is pregnant for the 17th time, and the decisions she makes as a result.
  4. Pauv’ Jeanne d’Arc, a est folle come braque is a short, one-act comedy in French that shows how today’s multiple layers of bureaucracy can place major obstacles on the road to sainthood
The performance will also include a 10-minute spoof commercial for an aide to assimilation called Assimilo, miracle de la science moderne. This wonder of modern medical science helps eliminate the danger and shame associated with frequent ethnicity attacks.

Musical accompaniment is provided by Erica Brown, a young Franco-American fiddler from Lewiston.

Du Monde d’à Côté (literally People next door or neighbors) was formed in 1996 to help expand the awareness of Franco-Americans within the ethnic group itself and in other francophone areas and populations. The troupe is committed to performing works in French and English by Franco-American authors. It complements these plays with outstanding theater pieces from Canada, Louisiana, and other francophone regions. Over the past ten years, Du monde d’à côté has performed in Québec, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Louisiana, and France, as well as throughout the New England states.

Co-sponsored by:
FAROG students
Centre Franco-Américain
Cultural Affairs Committee
Chez-Nous Chapter of Association Canado-Américaine<