The Write Way to Do Montreal

Photograph by Alexi Hobbs for TIME

The National Library's impressive Grande Bibliothèque houses around 4 million volumes

No lack of ink has been spilled in and about Montreal, a city whose writers waver between English, French and some singular mix of the two. Over time, almost all of its quartiers have been memorialized on the page, from Westmount and the Plateau to the poor St.-Henri district of Gabrielle Roy's classic book Bonheur d'Occasion. In the 1920s and '30s, modernist poetry, as penned by the so-called McGill Group, came of age in Montreal; in the late '90s, the town became host to the world's first multilingual literary fest. From April 18 to 23, this year's Blue Metropolis Festival will...

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