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Anne Hébert, (August 1, 1916 – January 22, 2000), was a French Canadian author and poet.
She won Canada's top literary honor, the Governor General's Award, three times, twice for fiction and once for poetry.
Hébert was born in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fossambault (name later changed to Sainte-Catherine-de-Portneuf, and in 1984 to Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier), Quebec. Her father, Maurice Hébert, was a poet and literary critic. She was a cousin and childhood friend of modernist poet Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau. She began writing poems and stories at a young age.
By the time she was in her early twenties, Hébert's work had been published in a number of periodicals. Her first collection of poems, Les Songes en Équilibre, was published in 1942. In it she writes of herself as existing in solitude in a "dreamlike torpor". It received positive reviews and won her the Prix David.
Saddened by the 1943 death of her thirty-one-year-old cousin, Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau, and by the death of her only sister Marie in 1952, Hébert's poetry became filled with images of death and drowning." No Quebec publisher would publish her 1945 collection of stories, Le Torrent. It was finally published in 1950 at the expense of Roger Lemelin. The provocative tales were considered shocking at the time, but later grew in popularity.
Hébert was affiliated with Canada's first film bureau. She worked for Radio Canada, Film Board of Canada and National Film Board of Canada during the 1950s.
Again, she could not find a publisher for her second book of anguish-filled poetry, Le Tombeau des rois (The Tomb of Kings), and had to publish it at her own expense in 1953. In 1954 Hébert used a grant from the Royal Society of Canada to move to Paris, thinking that the city would be more receptive to her writing.
Les Chambres de bois (1958), her first novel, was a passionate story which depicted violence and brutality through evocative imagery. Hébert was one of the first Québécois writers to experiment in her work with the expression of alienation and rebellion, rather than realistic narration and discussion."
In 1960 during Québec's Quiet Revolution, Hébert published Mystère de la parole, a new collection of poems about more down-to-earth subjects than her previous work.
Hébert's 1970 novel Kamouraska combines two romantic yet suspenseful stories and is set in 19th-century Québec.
Hébert returned to Canada in the 1990s. Her last novel Un Habit de lumière was published in 1998.
Hébert died of bone cancer on January 22, 2000 in Montreal.