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The Fate of Bonté III

University of Ottawa Press | Literary Translation

Bonté III was five years old. A cow at that age is at her prime. Prime is an accounting term. A dairy farm is a business and must be managed as such. From this perspective, Bonté III’s days were numbered. Numbered is not an empty word. She had been a good representative of her breed. A cow, after all, has no need to try to be a cow. Her life is that of a cow: a predetermined cycle that is easily reflected on a balance sheet. She eats. She drinks. She ruminates. She urinates. She defecates. All this has a cost. She ovulates. She bears a calf. She gives birth. She produces milk. All this brings money. [...] Tit for tat. The only thing left to do for Bonté III was to call the butcher.

The Fate of Bonté III is a story of love and loneliness with colourful characters, a reflection on life and the vital need to be useful to someone or to something.


“What a beautiful story—not at all conventional! And especially, what writing!”


“This is the story of a couple… but of a couple in the making. Two lonely souls, back of beyond: a young farmer, enamoured with his land and his livestock, but wanting for affection, and a young, unemployed mother, lacking support. Something magical happens. This is a most inventive novel.”


This original novel, brimming with unspoken truths and written with great finesse and poetry, wins one’s heart. 


Alain Poissant was born in Napierville and was raised on a farm. He is the author of Dehors les enfants, Vendredi-Friday and Carnaval. In 2005, he won the Radio-Canada literary award for his story: "Un ciel bleu rose". Le Sort de Bonté III was published in 2013.

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