Adrien Thério

Adrien Thério, author (born 15 August 1925 in Saint-Modeste, Québec, died 24 July 2003).

Adrien Thério, author (born 15 August 1925 in Saint-Modeste, Québec, died 24 July 2003). He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa in 1950, a master’s degree (for a thesis on the work of novelist Marie Le Franc) from the Université Laval in 1952, and a doctorate (for a thesis on war reporter Jules Fournier) in 1953. After studying American literature at Harvard from 1955 to 1956, he earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, in 1959. He taught for the rest of his career: first at Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky, then at the University of Toronto from 1959 to 1960, the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario from 1960 to 1969, and the University of Ottawa thereafter.

Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1970, Thério was a pioneer of Québec letters. He founded the journal Livres et Auteurs canadiens in 1961 (renamed Livres et Auteurs québécois in 1969) and the journal Lettres québécoises in 1976. He also edited the journal Incidences (renamed Co-Incidences) from 1970 to 1972.

A prolific writer and editor, Thério produced works in myriad genres, including essays (L'humour au Canada français, 1968), plays (Les renégats, 1964; Le roi d'Aragon, 1979), diaries (Des choses à dire: Journal littéraire, 1973-1974, 1975; Le journal d'un chien, 1962), a translation of Henry David Thoreau’s A Yankee in Canada (1962), and anthologies (Conteurs canadiens-français, 1965–1976; Conteurs québécois, 1900–1940, 1987). But he was most at home writing fiction, including stories (such as Ceux du Chemin-Taché, 1974; Nos beaux meurtres, 1973; La colère du père, 1974; Un païen chez les pingouins, 1970; and C'est ici que le monde a commencé, 1978) and novels (including Les brèves années, 1953; Soliloque en hommage à une femme, 1968; and Marie-Ève, Marie-Ève, 1983). Much admired for his simple, direct, lively style, his subtle humour, and his moving portraits of himself, his childhood, and the humble folk of his native region, Adrien Thério has claimed his rightful place as one of the great storytellers of 20th-century Québec.