Anne Hébert 1916–
French-Canadian poet, novelist, short story writer, and dramatist.
Hébert's work is imbued with traditional French-Canadian themes: solitude, the burden of the past, sin, and spiritual struggle.
Poèmes, which won the Governor General's Award in 1960, contains Le tombeau des rois (1953; The Tomb of the Kings) and previously unpublished poems. In this volume, the tension between pleasant childhood reminiscences and adult inhibitions is evoked in powerful imagery of confinement and suffocation. Critics compare the themes and imagery of The Tomb of the Kings to those in Hébert's first novel, Les chambres de bois (1958; The Silent Rooms).
In her recent novels, Les enfants du sabbat (1975; Children of the Black Sabbath), another Governor General's Award winner, and Héloise (1982), Hébert adds a supernatural dimension to her familiar themes of sin and spiritual crisis. Children of the Black Sabbath is a chilling tale of demonic possession and Héloise is a story of vampirism set in the Paris Métro.
(See also CLC, Vols. 4, 13 and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 85-88.)