The Tin Flute

by Gabrielle Roy
Afterword by Philip Stratford

McClelland & Stewart | June 2, 2009 | Trade Paperback |

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The Tin Flute, Gabrielle Roy's first novel, is a classic of Canadian fiction. Imbued with Roy's unique brand of compassion and compelling understanding, this moving story focuses on a family in the Saint-Henri slums of Montreal, its struggles to overcome poverty and ignorance, and its search for love.

An affecting story of familial tenderness, sacrifice, and survival during the Second World War, The Tin Flute won both the Governor General's Award and the Prix Fémina of France. The novel was made into a critically acclaimed motion picture in 1983.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 416 Pages, 5.12 × 7.48 × 0.79 in

Published: June 2, 2009

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771093888

ISBN - 13: 9780771093883

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The Tin Flute

The Tin Flute

by Gabrielle Roy
Afterword by Philip Stratford

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 416 Pages, 5.12 × 7.48 × 0.79 in

Published: June 2, 2009

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771093888

ISBN - 13: 9780771093883

Read from the Book

One Toward noon, Florentine had taken to watching out for the young man who, yesterday, while seeming to joke around, had let her know he found her pretty. The fever of the bazaar rose in her blood, a kind of jangled nervousness mingled with the vague feeling that one day in this teeming store things would come to a halt and her life would find its goal. It never occurred to her to think she could meet her destiny anywhere but here, in the overpowering smell of caramel, before the great mirrors hung on the wall with their narrow strips of gummed paper announcing the day’s menu, to the summary clacking of the cash register, the very voice of her impatience. Everything in the place summed up for her the hasty, hectic poverty of her whole life here in St. Henri. Over the shoulders of her half-dozen customers, her glance fled toward the counters of the store. The restaurant was at the back of the Five and Ten. In the glitter of the glassware, the chromed panels, the pots and pans, her empty, morose and expressionless ghost of a smile caught aimlessly on one glowing object after another. Her task of waiting on the counter left her few moments in which she could return to the exciting, disturbing recollections of yesterday, except for tiny shards of time, just enough to glimpse the unknown young man’s face in her mind’s eye. The customers’ orders and the rattling of dishes didn’t always break into her reverie, which, for a second, would cause a brief t
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From the Publisher

The Tin Flute, Gabrielle Roy's first novel, is a classic of Canadian fiction. Imbued with Roy's unique brand of compassion and compelling understanding, this moving story focuses on a family in the Saint-Henri slums of Montreal, its struggles to overcome poverty and ignorance, and its search for love.

An affecting story of familial tenderness, sacrifice, and survival during the Second World War, The Tin Flute won both the Governor General's Award and the Prix Fémina of France. The novel was made into a critically acclaimed motion picture in 1983.


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Jacket

Praise for Gabrielle Roy:
"A consummate artist … Roy communicates masterfully, with a beauty that is quite indescribable."
- Toronto Star

"Only a few modern writers … could match [Roy's] gift of portraying warmth without sentimentality, joy without delusion. Even when her work described alienation and loneliness, it also reached out in hope."
- Maclean's


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gabrielle Roy was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, in 1909. Her parents were part of the large Quebec emigration to western Canada in the late nineteenth century. The youngest of eight children, she studied in a convent school for twelve years, then taught school herself, first in isolated Manitoba villages and later in St. Boniface.

In 1937 Roy travelled to Europe to study drama, and during two years spent in London and Paris she began her writing career. The approaching war forced her to return to Canada, and she settled in Montreal.

Roy's first novel, The Tin Flute, ushered in a new era of realism in Quebec fiction with its compassionate depiction of a working-class family in Montreal's Saint-Henri district. Her later fiction often turned for its inspiration to the Manitoba of her childhood and her teaching career.

In 1947 Roy married Dr. Marcel Carbotte, and after a few years in France, they settled in Quebec City, which was to remain their home. Roy complemented her fiction with essays, reflective recollections, and three children's books. Her many honours include three Governor General's Awards, France's Prix Fémina, and Quebec's Prix David.

Gabrielle Roy died in Quebec City, Quebec, in 1983.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Gabrielle Roy:
"A consummate artist … Roy communicates masterfully, with a beauty that is quite indescribable."
- Toronto Star

"Only a few modern writers … could match [Roy''s] gift of portraying warmth without sentimentality, joy without delusion. Even when her work described alienation and loneliness, it also reached out in hope."
- Maclean''s


From the Hardcover edition.
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