Biographical information

Sophie Voillot, photographed by Pierre Crépô

Sophie Voillot was born in Marseille and grew up in Montreal, where she now lives. She studied literature and linguistics and worked for a short while as a screenwriter before specializing in translation, a profession she’s been practicing for over 20 years.

After several years filled with learning experiences at Nortel’s Language Services, she was introduced to Antoine Tanguay, who was busy preparing Editions Alto’s first season. Much to her surprise, he entrusted her with translating Miles and Isabel, from Australian writer Tom Gilling, in 2004. Then, in 2005, he followed up with Thomas Wharton’s Salamander, which earned her a first Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation in 2006.

Shortlisted for a GG in 2007 with La fin de l’alphabet, her French translation of C.S. Richardson’s The End of the Alphabet, and in 2008 with Thomas Wharton’s Logogryph, Sophie Voillot also signed the French version of Rawi Hage’s De Niro’s Game (Parfum de poussière), which went on to earn the Prix des libraires (Booksellers award) in 2009, as well as the Combat des livres (Battle of the books) competition, the French equivalent of CBC’s Canada Reads. She then won a second Governor General’s Award in 2006 for Le Cafard, her translation of Cockroach, Hage’s second novel.

After being shortlisted in 2011 for Le droit chemin, her translation of David Homel’s Midway, Sophie Voillot was awarded her third GG Award in 2013 for L’enfant du jeudi, the French version of Alison Pick’s Far to Go.