Norman R. Beaupré
Biddeford, Maine

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Lumineau (2002)


For his second published work, Franco-American author Normand Beaupré has chosen nine tales and legends. They come from many sources: New England, Medieval France and the Mexico of the conquistadors. He has taken his inspiration from his childhood days, his travels, his artist friends one who lives and paints in France and the other who sculpts wood and lives in Limerick, Maine, two old Maine legends, and one based on his readings and research in Oaxaca, Mexico.

"Lumineau" is an invented word by the author and it incorporates light and water with movement. All tales and legends in this new book have as leitmotif these three elements. The premise of the work is that fantasy or the wonder of things cannot be explained; it's best told in stories. The first story, the "Legend of the Milkweed" deals with a young boy who believes he sees little birds sleeping in the green pods where the silken contents lie; the "Dragonfly" tells the story of another boy who classifies all bugs and insects as either good or bad until a walk in the woods with his father who teaches him the wonder of the dragonfly; the "Crooked Tree" is based on a real life experience of the author and talks about differences in our lives; the "Green Man" relates the legend of a master sculptor in Auxerre, France during the Middle Ages who helps to decorate a new cathedral with magnificent works of art including the Green Man; "Billie's Swan" is based on a wooden sculpture of a swan's head that, through magic-realism and the brightness of the moon's rays, turns into a full-blown swan during the night; the "Woman Who Loved Cats" tells the story of a friend of the author who loved cats so much that, through magic-realism, she trades places with her big feline friend in order to see better at night and heighten her inspiration. The two Maine legends are, "Squando's Curse" and "The Phantom Ship of the Kennebec." The first one is based on a legend with which the author grew up and deals with the legendary curse on the Saco river by a shaman while the second tale tells the story of a young mariner who sets sail for the high seas only to encounter trouble and eventually death. His ship sinks in the Maine waters and turns into a phantom ship. Finally, the "Legend of the Hummingbird-Chameleon" relates the fascinating story of a Zapotec princess with a harelip who is rejected by her royal family and befriended by a mythic friend. All nine tales and legends have black and white illustrations created by the Maine artist, Shelley Schoneberg.

According to the publisher, JCL in Chicoutimi, Québec, Norman Beaupré clings to his own sense of wonderment to propel us into a picturesque dimension where only the heart has eyes to see. This is a book for both young and old written in French by Dr. Beaupré who already has to his credit another work published in 1999, Le Petit Mangeur de Fleurs.

ISBN: 2-89431-268-7
Collection Contes et légendes
Format: 140 X 216 mm; 5 1/2 X 8 1/2 in - 140 pages
Language: French

Published by Les Editions JCL.

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Comments from Readers

From: EIise Dallemagne
Sent: Sunday, June 13, 2004

Oh, Norm! LUM1NEAU is truly a beautiful book. A treasure. A magnificent example of lyrical, sensitive writing. Each tale more wonderfully presented than the last. I was sorry to come to the end, and when I did I couldn't think of any other book in my extensive library that I could pick up in the hope of filling the gap I felt when, indeed, I finished reading it.

Again, thank you!

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Last updated: June 20, 2006