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Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau is a writer of Cree origin. She has published three novels and four poetry collections in French. She received the 2020 Artist of the Year Award from the Conseil des arts et lettres du Quebec. She lives in Abitibi, in northwest Quebec.
When it was first published in Quebec, The Lover, The Lake was heralded as the first erotic novel written by an Indigenous woman in French. Today, as it is translated into English for the first time, author Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau would rather call it a celebration of sensuality, another first. At a time when Indigenous peoples were being dispossessed of their land and history as well as their relationship to the body, the love explored by Wabougouni and Gabriel is an act of defiance. Their intimate connection plays out on the shores of Lake Abitibi in an affair as turbulent and unfathomable as the lake itself.