Nauetakuan: Silence For Sound

Original title: Nauetakuan, un silence pour un bruit

Publication Date:

November 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Editions XYZ

Territories Handled

English (World excl Canada), France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

English (North America) (Book*hug Press, at auction)
Film/TV rights (La Maison de prod)
France (Dépaysage)


Literary Fiction

Nauetakuan: Silence For Sound

Original title: Nauetakuan, un silence pour un bruit


Poet, singer, actress and Innu activist, the talented Natasha Kanapé Fontaine has written a powerful novel that goes through us like a lightning bolt. Through Monica’s quest for identity, she describes the reality of a young artist struggling to find her place, her identity, and to face rejection and systemic racism. A journey where art helps to heal the violence of the past. Le Journal de Montréal

A love letter to the survivors of the residential schools dedicated to their descendants […]. To create the universe of Nauetakuan, populated by giant animals and marvellous creatures, including the Thunderbird, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine was inspired by her own dreams, various Aboriginal myths and ancient stories taught to her by the Innu poet Joséphine Bacon. — Le Devoir

We have already seen the power of her poetry; now she offers us a first novel with the same force on identity, memory, heritage and the power of art. — Les Libraires

I realized that I wasn’t the only one who felt a little disconnected and wanted to find myself. […] When I went back to the woods a few years ago, it was life-saving. I really understood where I came from and who I am while canoeing on a river deep in the woods. Knowing that my ancestors had walked and loved this land, where they maintained a way of life for a long time. Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, interview with Marc Cassivi, La Presse

When reading her first novel, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine’s pen is revealed in a new light, and one can recognize the poet in her. Snippets of poetry and references to different forms of artistic expression are scattered throughout the novel. Véronik Picard, Radio-Canada

Having experienced first-hand the consequences of territorial and cultural dispossession, many Innu authors see writing as a process of reappropriation. “I write from the perspective of taking back the reins of my history and my imagination, not to blame or to oppose what is different from me,” explains Natasha Kanapé Fontaine. “Readers often thank me for reaching out and gently drawing them into my reality.” — Interview with Anne-Frédérique Hébert-Dolbec, L’actualité

If the quest for identity remains at the heart of the author’s preoccupations, poetry is the privileged vehicle, whatever form it takes. “For me, the novel is a continuation of my poetry collections. In recent years, I have a new audience. In indigenous literature, there is a whole effervescence, especially on the Anglophone side. I was fed by it and, by dint of reading it, I decided to go beyond poetry.” — Interview for Echos vedettes

It is very beautiful, with magnificent passages. It is a first wonderful foray for Natasha Kanapé Fontaine into the world of fiction. A very touching novel, striking at times, very upsetting, and often she offers us a more poetic narrative that is absolutely breathtaking. One of my big favorites of the year. — Billy Robinson, Cochaux Show CFLX 95,5

A quest for identity steeped in the poetry of its author, who uses powerful imagery to evoke shared emotions. A highly readable story of empowerment that restores confidence in the belief that we can marshal our heritage to make a future of our own design.

Nauetakuan: an Innu word that tells us that a sound, far away, is coming to us. How can we hear it if everything, inside and out is vibrating, buzzing, yelling? We must, in fact, be silent.

Monica is searching for her freedom, as well as her roots. She has just dropped out of a degree in art history when she has an epiphany at a vernissage. Monica feels a deep connection to the work of the First Nations artist: something about the wound she carries is expressed on these canvases, in these installations.

Thus begins Monica’s quest to reconnect with what defines her. But she must also heal from the past violence of inter-generational trauma, a childhood uprooted from her culture, and relationships with toxic men. If she is to shed this baggage and return to Pessamit in peace, she will first need to meet with Indigenous women across the continent to discuss the importance of passing on traditional arts and the power they hold for the next generation.

In her debut novel, the author explores the theme of self-discovery through art. As we follow the protagonist along her journey, we learn fascinating things about Indigenous cultures and what heritage they share.

Marketing Information

  • Over 6000 copies sold
  • Modern text written by and for the new native generation who wish to reclaim their culture.
  • Skillfully blends magical realism from other native peoples, poetry and the quest for identity.
  • A must-read empowerment story that restores confidence in the belief that we can mobilize our heritage to build a future of our own.