Biography of Mélanie Loisel
Passionate about journalism
Originally from Fermont, a small village near the Quebec-Labrador border, Mélanie Loisel took her first steps on the grounds of the mythical “wall”, a one kilometer wind barrier built to block the strong North winds.
Surrounded by an arid, mountainous landscape of extraordinary beauty and protected by this arrow-shaped wall, Mélanie Loisel put down deep roots, built her inner strength and developed a thirst to explore the world.
In this isolated landscape, dotted with stunted trees and tall spruces, Melanie flourished in a supportive and united community where villagers have known each other all their lives. The strong social bonds and the unconditional love and support she received from her family and friends have always been a great source of inspiration and confidence; encouraging her at a very young age to dream of adventure.
By the age of 10, Mélanie Loisel had already written a column in Fermont’s community newspaper. Claudia, a music teacher and former journalist, saw her potential and opened her eyes to the world by inspiring her to continue on this path.
From Fermont to Tunis
And this is how her great adventure began. At the age of 17, Mélanie Loisel left Northern Quebec to settle in Montreal to pursue her studies in journalism and international politics. Her first years in the city were difficult and lonely; she missed the Northern air and open spaces. Despite experiencing hardship, doubts and heartache, Melanie never lost her true north. As she likes to say, “Spruce sap flows in my veins”. Melanie always kept her head up when faced with life’s challenges; she refused to give in to adversity and succumb to despair. Mélanie Loisel has always shown perseverance and resilience.
Being a journalist has allowed Mélanie Loisel to travel the world covering stories which have been broadcast on Radio-Canada and published in various newspapers and magazines. At the age of 25, she moved to Tunisia for a year where she felt the constraints of dictatorship. The lack of freedom of speech and freedom of the press fueled her desire for justice, fairness and freedom.
Making the voice of the voiceless heard
The issues that concern Mélanie Loisel are: human rights, world peace, the duty to remember, intercultural openness and living together in harmony. For almost twenty years now, this globetrotter has travelled the world to seek what is real and authentic and to gather testimony that is both shocking and inspiring. In addition, her goal is to educate the public about peace and issues of human rights by doing what she does best: write, organize and lead discussions; find and share true stories.
Mélanie Loisel’s international experience is the catalyst of her commitment. She now sees the world differently. In 2014, she returned home and embarked on a colossal project: to create three literary works in three years. Her constant preoccupation to make the voice of the voiceless heard, touches her deeply and her first work titled Ma vie en partage tells the story of her interview with Martin Gray, a Holocaust survivor.
In 2015, Melanie Loisel published Ils ont vécu le siècle: De la Shoah à la Syrie, a collection of 62 interviews with those who witnessed the last century. This masterful work, sold throughout the French-speaking world, has been the focus of her life for several years. Every day since its publication, Melanie has drawn valuable lessons from its pages which she applies in her personal life.
In 2017, she also published a mustread book, Ma réserve dans ma chair, where she gives a voice to Marly Fontaine, a young Innu artist who tells her painful story and confronts the reader’s prejudices. Mélanie was particularly interested in the story of Marly, because this young indigenous woman, tormented by life’s challenges, is alive and well and can still speak, unlike her missing or murdered sisters.
The duty to remember, to prevent tomorrow’s mistakes
Mélanie Loisel is an inspiring, dedicated, dynamic and committed woman. She gains people’s trust with her enthusiasm and her listening skills; her commitment to survivors (refugees, immigrants, natives, etc.) is unequivocal. Through her books, she reveals remarkable people who have shown extraordinary resilience. She manages to gain their confidence and encourages them to share their stories so we may learn from their experiences.
Mélanie Loisel changes the world in her own way; using her talent, her energy, her knowledge, her intelligence and her strength for the common good. She is convinced that we can all make a difference in the world, no matter where we come from. For her, everything is a question of will.