Georges-Hébert Germain

Georges-Hébert Germain, author, scriptwriter, critic, columnist (born 20 August 1944 in Les Écureuils, Portneuf County, Québec; died 13 November 2015 in Montréal).

After studies in arts and geography at the Université de Trois-Rivières, he began a career as a journalist with the newspaper La Presse that would prove most promising and prolific. During the 1970s, he also wrote magazine articles for Canadian Geographic and l'Actualité, and the Canadian Magazine Foundation twice awarded him the Grand prix d'excellence for his contributions to various national magazines.

During this period, Georges-Hébert Germain also wrote many television scripts, specifically for Radio-Canada, Télé-Québec and Télé-Métropole (now TVA) and the NATIONAL FILM BOARD. As a columnist and a respected, much-in-demand critic, he appeared on several public interest forums. Around the 1980s, Georges-Hébert Germain's pen took another direction - writing biographies of public figures. These included Guy Lafleur, L'ombre et la lumière (1990); Québecois singer Robert Charlebois (Prix Brascan, 1981); writer Saul Bellow (another Prix Brascan, 1985); and Moshe Safdie (Prix d'excellence from the Ordre des architectes). Other biographies included those of celebrated singer Céline Dion, Céline (1997); of René Angélil, her no-less-famous husband, René Angelil: le maître du jeu (2009); of the singer's mother, Thérèse Dion: la vie est un beau voyage (2006); and finally, of the famous bank robber Monica la Mitraille, Souvenirs de Monica (1997).

Returning to his first loves, Georges-Hébert Germain also wrote many articles about archaeology and geography. He won the Judith-Jasmin Prize for a report on New York City (1985) and an Air Canada award for a report on Japan (1987). A passionate admirer of the Nordic regions, Germain received the University of Western Ontario's President's Medal for his first-rate articles on Greenland and the Yukon.

Commissioned by the Canadian Museum of Civilization and under the scientific guidance of anthropologist David Morrison, Georges-Hébert Germain published Inuit: les peuples du froid (1996), which won the prix Louis-Cantigny and the prix Montréal-Genève.

In 2001, the author turned to history and published Le Château, followed in 2003 by Les coureurs des bois: la saga des Indiens blancs (translated as Adventures in the New World: The Saga of the Coureurs du Bois). In 2006, Germain was commended for his highly acclaimed portrait of Christopher Columbus, Christophe Colomb: naufrage sur les côtes du paradis. In 2010, another slice of Québécois history appeared: La fureur et l'enchantement. This latest work of historical fiction recounts the progress of a number of characters through the filter of the years 1837-1838 and the Patriot Insurrection. We learn a page in our history from the Société des 21 (21 settlers from the Charlevoix) whose mission was to reclaim land in the Saguenay region - territory that the Hudson's Bay Company had exploited for its timber.

In 1995, Georges-Hébert Germain received the prix Jules-Fournier from the Conseil de la langue française.