Best known as the most important voice in Quobcois fiction of the last fifty years, Marie-Claire Blais is also an accomplished playwright. Her works have been performed in French on Radio-Canada, and on the stages of Montreal and Quebec City. In her stage plays, as with her radio plays and her fiction, Marie-Claire Blais works from a post-religious world view, but with the structures of religion in place; in short, she is a contemporary Dante, writing about good and evil in a civil context. Her characters, however, are more than just symbols; they are real people, struggling with moral dilemmas. In the novel, A Season in the Life of Emmanuel, Blais wrote from the point of view of a child under a table; the point of view itself was a metaphor for the society in which she found herself in the late 1950s and early 1960s, just prior to Quebec_s Quiet Revolution. The plays included in this edition are evidence of Blais_ great talent when brought to bear on the theatre, especially in the plays The Execution, Desire, and Envy.
Marie-Claire Blais is, arguably, the most important writer of her generation. She is a three-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, and she has also won the Ordre National du Qubec (1995); the Chevalier, Ordre Des Lettres, Minist re de la Culture (Paris, France, 1999); the Prix Athanase-David; the Prix Mdicis; a Guggenheim Fellowship; and the Molson Prize of the Canada Council for the Arts. She lives in Montreal and Florida.