Autumn Rounds


Translated from by

Published: November 30th, 2021


ISBN: 9781953861061 eISBN:9781953861078

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Book Description

A man living alone in Quebec City hears a tune float through his apartment window. He follows its chirping out to the street, and there he meets a rollicking troupe of acrobats, jugglers, and musicians – among them a charming Katherine Hepburn-lookalike, Marie. He is enamored by the troupe’s joyful irreverence and they are drawn to his rare devotion to books, cats, and the iris-mottled countryside of Quebec. They set off together. In his bookmobile, he guides the troupe up the craggy coast of the St. Lawrence River. A “fine figure with its curves,” outfitted with a kitchen, expandable library shelves, and – above the sink – a golden-hued photograph of Shakespeare & Company, the bookmobile wends its way north. Along the way, its driver falls in love and lends book upon book to the faithful readers of the towns he visits every summer. Autumn Rounds is a tender travelogue punctuated by picnics, sandy coves, and the voices of Billie Holiday, Gabrielle Roy, and Anne Hébert. It’s about the way books speak through us, chiming in, alive and with simple abandon.

Praise for Autumn Rounds

Poulin continues his oeuvre of quiet, unimposing fiction with this delicate tale of a Quebec City bookmobile owner whose solitary life is upended after he meets an alluring woman . . . Narrated in ponderous, poetic prose, the brief text successfully harnesses a range of themes, made potent by the melancholy mix of the Driver’s fear of aging and the lure of romance. Poulin once again shows his knack for grace and nuance.
Publishers Weekly

Poulin’s novel offers a deeply felt meditation on loneliness, age, and the improbability of human connection.
Kirkus Reviews

Autumn Rounds is an exceptionally gentle novel, a quiet romance with ruminations on aging, books, friendship, and the pleasures of landscapes and nature ... What gives [it] mass and momentum are all the little pieces that it seamlessly fits together
Danny Yee, Danny Yee Book Reviews

Rich with humor, reflection, and the almost palpable magic of books, Autumn Rounds is a novel that explores an intimate yet expansive landscape.
Meg Nola, Foreword Reviews

What a luminous little book this is. Nothing could have made me happier than to have it transport me to its realm. Long may its motivations reign—the sheer love of books, an informed awe at the natural world. I felt I was my better self for having read it.
John Silber

A story that just naturally flows, and doesn't try too much. But Poulin's restraint nevertheless manages to incorporate a lot – without ever even tending towards the ponderous. He has a unique style and approach, and Autumn Rounds fits in very much with his other work; so many authors try way too hard with so many aspects of their work, but Poulin is unambitious in exactly the right way . . . A very agreeable read.
M.A. Orfother, Complete Review

Autumn Rounds is a subtle, beguiling novel about books and nature, a meditation on forming connections and finding love late in life that has the feel of a travelogue, both charming and melancholy at the same time . . . It’s a bittersweet, quietly powerful novel, a soothing balm for the soul, and there’s something about the goodness and kindness of the people within its pages that touches the heart.
Radhika Pandit, Radhika's Reading Retreat


For decades Poulin has been teaching us that great literature can be about small things: the language of love and the love of language, the pleasure of solitude and the grief of loneliness, the value of work and the importance of play. While each of his novels stands on its own, together they create a world that is instantly recognizable and immediately endearing.
Alyson Waters, Yale University

One of my favorite writers in the world is Jacques Poulin.
Rawi Hage

Poulin shares a mix of detached humor, fantasy, and compassion with Vonnegut and Salinger.
Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Poulin is a master of imagery and dialogue: they rest like froth on top of something much more murky and morose: an underlying fear of emptiness.
The Silhouette

One of the finest and most underrated novelists in Québec.
The Globe and Mail

Praise for Translation is a Love Affair

If familiarity and surprise have become the trademark of Poulin’s novels, it is evident that Translation is a Love Affair does not deviate from this model; and Poulin’s reader continues to read as he/she would pay a visit to relatives, as much to reoccupy a familiar world as to discover that which is new.
Canadian Literature

For Jacques Poulin, in this miniature masterpiece of tenderness and humour, translation is more than the passage from language to language, it is the essence of our human condition: giving and taking, teaching and learning, experiencing and sharing experience, a love affair with our fellow human beings.
Alberto Manguel

We fall under the spell of this heartwarming, human novel, penned by Jacques Poulin at the summit of his art.
Mieux Vivre

Praise for Mister Blue

This is a great and very beautiful novel.
Le Devoir

Jacques Poulin has perfected the art of making simplicity look artless…Told with Hemingway- like sparseness and minimal melodrama… Poulin earns his lump-in-the-throat ending.
Shelf Awareness