From internationally acclaimed playwright and author Robert Lepage comes 887 — an autobiographical story originally toured as a solo show. Framed by Lepage’s attempt to memorize Michèle Lalonde’s poem “Speak White,” 887 is an exploration of memory, culture, and community in Quebec.
As the 40th anniversary of La Nuit de la poésie in Montreal approaches, playwright Robert Lepage is invited to recite Michèle Lalonde’s seminal poem “Speak White” from memory on the special night. After agonizing hours spent attempting to memorize the piece, Lepage finds himself unable to recall a single line. In a last effort he decides to employ a mnemonic device dating back to ancient Greece called the Memory Palace — a technique of imagination and association. Lepage’s Memory Palace is 887 Murray Avenue, the apartment block where he grew up. Winding his way around the rooms of the building and the lives of the tenants therein, Lepage guides the reader through a world of recollections of 1960s Quebec, the decade that shaped the province’s cultural and political consciousness.
A mesmerizing and multifaceted glimpse into the realm of memory, 887 is a tour of culture and community in 1960s Quebec through one masterful artist’s remarkable, boundary-defying perspective.
About the authors
Director, writer, actor Robert Lepage is one of Canada’s most renowned figures in the performing arts. His astonishing oeuvre includes epic plays (The Dragons’ Trilogy, Needles and Opium), award-winning films (Le Confessional, Far Side of the Moon), and even rock shows. A Quebec native, Lepage has received many prestigious awards and honours, including the Ordre national du Quebec, the Denise Pelletier Prize, the Prix Europe, France’s Legion d’honneur, and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
LOUISA BLAIR is a native of Quebec City who now work as a writer, editor and translator in Toronto.
- Commended, New York Times Critic's Pick
- Runner-up, Governor General's Literary Award for Translation