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Novelist Gil Courtemanche succumbs to cancer

Gil Courtemanche, the journalist and novelist whose best-selling 2000 novel about the Rwandan genocide, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, was made into a movie in 2006, lost a two-year battle with cancer of the larynx last Friday. He was 68.

From the Montreal Gazette:

In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Courtemanche covered politics and international affairs for media outlets including Radio-Canada, La Presse, and Quebec City’s Le Soleil. For the past five years, he wrote a weekly column for Le Devoir, where his insights and incisive style won a devoted following, said publisher Bernard Descôteaux.

“It was his capacity for indignation toward injustice that marked the last part of his career,” Descôteaux said.

“He was a model for journalists. He was one of the great writers who have left their mark on journalism in Quebec in recent years.”

He was also an advocate for Quebec sovereignty, co-founding the paper Le Jour with Yves Michaud, Jacques Parizeau, and René Lévesque.

Quoted in the Gazette, Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois said, “Committed, with an incisive style and easy way with words, [Courtemanche] belonged to a form of journalism we see less and less: the kind that denounces (wrongdoing).”