The Sands of Dream is the first English translation of Thérèse Renaud’s earliest book, considered by some to be the first truly Surrealist collection published in Canada.
In the mid-forties, Thérèse Renaud was part of a group of young painters, writers, and dancers in Montreal who were called les automatistes. Their 1948 manifesto, Refus global, is no doubt the most important avant-garde text of its kind published in Canada. In 1946, at nineteen years of age and before she left Montreal for Paris, she wrote a series of poems in the Surrealist tradition of automatic writing, of which a selection were published in a chapbook entitled Les sables du rêve, illustrated with drawings in the automatist spirit by her friend, Jean-Paul Mousseau.
While Thérèse Renaud went on to write a half-dozen other volumes of poetry and prose that have built her reputation as an elder sister to a generation of important feminist writers from Quebec, Les sables du rêve was republished a number of times, notably in the avant-garde periodical Les Herbes Rouges, but it was never translated or published in English.
Thérèse Renaud passed away in December 2005.
Ray Ellenwood is a well-known translator of such authors as Marie-Claire Blais, Jacques Ferron, Claude Gauvreau and Gilles Hénault. He lives in Toronto.