The Sweater

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The Hockey Sweater (Le chandail de hockey in the original French) is a short story by Canadian author Roch Carrier and translated to English by Sheila Fischman. It was originally published in 1979 under the title « Une abominable feuille d’érable sur la glace » (« An abominable maple leaf on the ice« ) and was adapted into an animated short called The Sweater (Le Chandail) by theNational Film Board of Canada (NFB) in 1980 and illustrated by Sheldon Cohen.

The story is based on a real experience Carrier had growing up in Sainte-Justine, Quebec in 1946 as a fan of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team and its star player, Maurice Richard. Carrier and his friends all wore Canadiens’ sweaters with Richard’s number 9 on their back. When he needed a replacement, he was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater instead. Forced to wear it by his mother, Carrier faced the persecution of his peers and was prevented from playing by his coach.

The Hockey Sweater is Carrier’s most famous work and is considered an iconic work of Canadian literature. The story has sold over 250,000 copies and has been republished in numerous anthologies. It exemplifies the nation’s passion for hockey, and while it is considered an allegory of the relationship and tensions that exist between francophones and anglophones, the story is popular throughout the entire nation. A line from the story appeared on the Canadian five-dollar bill from 2001 until 2013. Source: Wikepedia

The Sweater - pictureCliquez ici pour le film du site de l’ONF

In this animated short, Roch Carrier recounts the most mortifying moment of his childhood. At a time when all his friends worshipped Maurice « Rocket » Richard and wore his number 9 Canadiens hockey jersey, the boy was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from Eaton’s. Unable to convince his mother to send it back, he must face his friends wearing the colours of the opposing team. This short film, based on the book The Hockey Sweater, is an NFB classic that appeals to hockey lovers of all ages. Source:

30 years pictureCliquez l’image pour entendre l’entrevue avec l’auteur et l’illustrateur à l’émissison ‘All in a Weekend‘ à la Radio de Radio-Canada (22 novembre, 2014)

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