Like a Québécois Bridget Jones’s Diary, Marie-Renée Lavoie’s Autopsy of a Boring Wife tells the hysterically funny and ultimately touching tale of forty-eight-year-old Diane, a woman whose husband leaves her and is having an affair because, he says, she bores him. Diane takes the charge to heart and undertakes an often ribald, highly entertaining journey to restoring trust in herself and others that is at the same time an astute commentary on women and girls, gender differences, and the curious institution of marriage in the twenty-first century. All the details are up for scrutiny in this tender, brisk story of the path to recovery. Autopsy of a Boring Wife is a wonderfully fresh and engaging novel of the pitfalls and missteps of an apparently “boring” life that could be any of ours.
MARIE-RENÉE LAVOIE was born in 1974 in Limoilou, near Quebec City. She is the author of three novels, including Mister Roger and Me, which won ICI Radio-Canada’s “Battle of the Books” — the Quebec equivalent of “Canada Reads” — and the Archambault Prize. She lives in Montreal, where she teaches literature at Maisonneuve College.
ARIELLE AARONSON left her native New Jersey in 2007 to pursue a diploma in Translation Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. She holds an M.A. in Second Language Education from McGill University and has spent the past few years teaching English in the Montreal public school system and creating educational material for second language learners. This is her first translation for Arachnide.
PRAISE FOR MARIE-RENÉE LAVOIE AND AUTOPSY OF A BORING WIFE
“Lavoie keeps her novel short, offering chaotic humour and snappy observation to balance the pain and loss . . . A readable, recognizable, tragicomic account of coping with domestic disaster.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Lavoie’s fiercely hilarious take on the pains and triumphs of marital abandonment feels perfectly right.” — Toronto Star
“With great humour and tenderness, Marie-Renée Lavoie recounts Diane’s journey to regain trust in both herself and the people around her . . . A piercing commentary on gender, marriage, and the nuances of self-love.” — Toronto Life
“Autopsy of a Boring Wife is slapstick, funny, and absurd, but underlined with a tenderness and poignance that will have you rooting for happily ever after after that.” — Pickle Me This
“Marie-Renée Lavoie is a highwire artist who derives her strength from her knowledge of human foibles.” — La Presse
“Fresh, funny, and a lot of fun to read.” — Consumed by Ink
“With writing that makes us fall in love from the very first page, and with a view of married life that is oh so lucid, Lavoie journeys with Diane to the bottom of the barrel, providing unforgettable scenes of altercations with her former sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and ex-husband’s new girlfriend before she surfaces by virtue of tactics that are simultaneously confrontational, true-to-life, and wildly entertaining.” — Huffington Post Québec
“A novel that surpasses sadness to find a place in the light.” — Bible Urbaine
“Employing the tone and construction of a classic comedy, here’s a novel that engulfs us in the wake of a woman on the verge of an unabating nervous breakdown . . . wacky, scathing humour, good dialogue and assuredly lively.” — Le Devoir
“Brimming with energy, Autopsy of a Boring Wife narrates Diane’s survival of her separation (cue Gloria Gaynor). Lavoie deploys wit and the vernacular to render wholly believable the story of someone who is not a fighter, but a woman like any other.” — Tête de Lecture
“Marie-Renée Lavoie leads us through all her heroine’s states of mind with vivid writing that shoots arrows fashioned from anything at hand; we are not exhausted for a moment and accompany Diane everywhere and in the most unlikely of situations. At the end of it all, we love this ‘boring’ woman, we really do.” — Journal de Montréal
PRAISE FOR MARIE-RENÉE LAVOIE AND MISTER ROGER AND ME
“Funny and touching, Mister Roger and Me will remind readers of a time not so long ago when they were far more trusting of their neighbours.” — Montreal Review of Books
“[An] infinitely likeable novel . . . Lavoie shares a sensibility with Miriam Toews, where flitty, whimsical kites of characters are tethered to earth with threads of melancholy and darkness.” — National Post