The Permanent Outsider
Canadian literature changed in 1945. So did the life of Gabrielle Roy. A French Canadian who grew up in poverty in Manitoba, Roy translated that experience and her observations as a Montreal journalist into vivid depictions of urban misery. The 1945 publication of Bonheur d'occasion (later translated as The Tin Flute) launched a new literary genre in Canada - the "urban novel" - and brought fame and prosperity to Roy. Success did not diminish Roy's drive to write or alter her vision of herself as a permanent outsider.
To write, it's a need, it's almost physical. You cannot avoid picking up the pen. Or touching the white page that is there, stretched out. Totally ready to receive . . . And you write precisely because you want to give, because you want to share with others. Because you have felt, or understood, the truth of certain human beings and you must say it.
Gabrielle Roy, Châtelaine, April 1966