Author of book at centre of N-word complaint willing to change text

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

Robert Soulières says Gatineau dad's complaint is first he's heard in 22 years

Author Robert Soulières says he's willing to change a passage in one of his books that led to a human rights complaint from a Gatineau, Que., father.

Gioberti Francois said his 12-year-old son was assigned Soulières's mystery novel Un Cadavre de Classe, but wasn't given the right context to interpret a passage with a racial slur.

On page 129, there's an exchange between a mother and son that reads:

"Et tu es assez vieux maintenant pour comprendre que, dans la vie, on ne fait pas toujours ce qu'on veut et qu'on est souvent le nègre de quelqu'un et que ce quelqu'un-là, c'est moi!"  

In English that translates to:

"And you're old enough now to understand that in life we do not always do what we want and that we are often someone's Negro, and that someone is me."

In French, the word nègre can mean both Negro and the N-word.

N-word in son's school book prompts rights complaint from Gatineau, Que., dad

Francois wrote to Quebec's human rights commission, saying the language in the book is racist and outdated.

Soulières told Radio-Canada on Thursday it's the first complaint he's heard of since the book was published in 1997, but he understands the reaction.

Read Full Story on CBC News :

Listen Here : Robert Soulières, author, defending Quebec's racist expression.

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