This is the first in a trilogy that provides us with the back-story to the characters of Michel Tremblay's great Chronicles of Plateau Mont-Royal, particularly of his mother “Nana,” The Fat Woman Next Door . . . and his maternal grandmother, who, though largely uneducated, was a voracious reader and introduced him to books that would inspire his great literary opus.
One of the most produced and prominent playwrights in Canadian theatre history, Michel Tremblay is considered the father of the Quebec language. His dramatic, literary, and autobiographical works have long enjoyed international popularity.
Sheila Fischman is a Governor General's Award-winning translator.
Michel Tremblay: Born in a working-class family in Quebec, novelist and playwright Michel Tremblay was raised in Montreal’s Le Plateau neighbourhood. An ardent reader since a young age, Tremblay began to write, in hiding, as a teenager. One of the most produced and the most prominent playwrights in the history of Canadian theatre, Tremblay has received countless prestigious honours and accolades. Because of their charismatic originality, their vibrant character portrayals and the profound vision they embody, Tremblay’s dramatic, literary and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity; his plays have been adapted and translated into dozens of languages and have achieved huge success in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East. Of his own work, Tremblay has said,I know what I want in the theatre. I want a real political theatre, but I know that political theatre is dull. I write fables.”
Tremblay’s novel The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant was long-listed for the CBC Canada Reads program in both 2002 and 2003. In 2004, he appeared as a guest of honour at the Calgary WordFest. In January and February of 2005, the Manitoba Theatre Centre presented TremblayFest: a two-week extravaganza in which fifteen of Tremblay’s stage plays were performed by sixteen different theatre companies. In April 2006—as Montreal concluded its term as World Book Capital—Tremblay was the recipient of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix, awarded annually in recognition of a lifetime of literary achievement to a writer of international stature and accomplishment.
Shelia Fischman: Sheila Fischman is a member of the Order of Canada and has a doctorate from the University of Waterloo. In 1999, she received an honourary doctorate from the University of Ottawa. A two-time Governor General’s Award winner, Fischman has translated from French to English more than a hundred novels by such prominent Quebec writers as Michel Tremblay, Jacques Poulin, Anne Hébert, François Gravel, Marie-Claire Blais and Roch Carrier. She is a founding member of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada and has also been a book columnist for the Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette. In 2008, Fischman was awarded the prestigious Molson Prize for her outstanding contributions to Canadian literature.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Fischman currently resides in Montreal.