Survive! Survive! transports readers to September 1935, to glorious, tragic times in the colourful company of Ti-Lou and “the Duchess” Édouard, whose sparkling exchanges hide indissoluble pain; to sombre, twilight times with Victoire and Télesphore at the bottom of the ruelle des Fortifications, and between Josaphat and Laura Cadieux, his ill-fated daughter who wants at all costs to find her mother, Imelda Beausoleil. “How to survive?” they all ask, inextricably caught in life’s cycle of lost illusions and forgotten dreams. Even as this chronicle of resilience dwells in the difficulties and disenchantments of ordinary life, it reveals existences that accommodate a happiness that passes – always too fast and almost too late.
The series closes with Misery’s Progress, whose action unfolds in August 1941, when the families of Nana and Gabriel unhappily cram together in a new apartment. Nana, inconsolable after the loss of her two eldest children to tuberculosis, is forced to live with Victoire and Édouard, as well as with Albertine, her husband Paul, and their children, Thérèse and baby Marcel. Outside this unbearably crowded household, war rages and rationing deprives everyone of basic necessities.
These characters don’t know what readers of Tremblay do: that in a year, in May 1942, Nana – the Fat Woman Next Door – seven months pregnant, will open the fabulous Chronicles of the Plateau-Mont-Royal …
About the authors
One of the most produced and the most prominent playwrights in the history of Canadian theatre, Michel Tremblay has received countless prestigious honours and accolades. His dramatic, literary and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity, including translations of his plays that have achieved huge success in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
Awards and Recognition*
Prix du Grand (2009) La Traversée de la ville (Leméac Editeur Inc.)
Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix (2006)
Globe and Mail Top 100 Books (2003) Birth of a Bookworm
Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (2000) For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again
Chalmers Awards (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1986, 1989, 2000)
Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (1999)
Molson Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts (1994)
Louis-Hémon Prize (1994)
Montreal Book Fair Grand Public Prize (1994)
Banff Centre National Award (1992)
Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France (1991)
Chevalier of the Order of Quebec (1990)
San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Festival Long-Standing Public Service Award (1989)
CBC Anik Prize (1988)
Athanase-David Lifetime Achievement Prize (1988)
Quebec-Paris Prize (1985)
Chevalier of Arts and Letters of France (1984)
John Van Burek
John Van Burek has been a practising theatre artist for over 20 years, in both French and English, throughout Canada. He has also worked in the fields of opera, film and television. He is also one of Canada’s leading translators for theatre, most notably of Michel Tremblay’s plays, including Les Belles-Soeurs (Talonbooks). Mr. Van Burek has received several awards and citations for his work, including the Toronto Drama Bench Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Canadian Theatre.
Born in Quebec, William Grant (?Bill”) Glassco was a Canadian theatre director, producer and founder of Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. He then became the artistic director of the CentreStage Theatre Company which merged, in 1988, with the Toronto Free Theatre to become CanStage. In 1982, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.