Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Gabrielle Roy (1909-1983)

Gabrielle Roy (1909-1983)
(Courtesy of Société historique de Saint-Boniface)
Installed 1990
375 rue Deschambault, St. Boniface

One of Canada's most prominent authors, Gabrielle Roy, was born and raised in St. Boniface. She taught in rural Manitoba and St. Boniface, and was active in amateur theatre. In 1937, Roy left Manitoba to study abroad and in 1939 she made her home in Quebec where she worked as a free-lance writer. Her first novel, Bonheur d'occasion (The Tin Flute), was published in 1945 and brought her literary fame. Winner of the prestigious Prix-Femina of France, the novel stands in the vanguard of literature exploring the French-Canadian working-class experience.

Roy's writing, much of which was set in Manitoba, was deeply influenced by the prairie landscape and the genteel poverty of her early years. Her simple style, combined with masterful descriptions of everyday life, attracted a devoted international leadership. The author of 145 books, Roy won many honours including three Governor-General's awards for her fiction.