In 1911, Louis Hémon, from Brittany, set out across the Atlantic in the time-honored European quest for the pure, the good and the true among the French-speaking Catholic descendants of French colonists in New France. He went as far up the Saguenay River into nature as he could, washing up on the shores of Lac Saint-Jean in mid-northern Quebec. The farming family in the village of Péribonka that took him in became the inspiration for the iconic novel Maria Chapdelaine; published in 1916, this text was translated into dozens of languages, inspired several fi lms and served as required reading in high schools and colleges.