Critically acclaimed in the original French, The Fifth offers a refreshing take on sexuality and desire. Alice, Gayle, Camille and Simon live together in a polyamorous relationship, affectionately referred to as the Family. Camille, a trans woman, and Gayle are lovers; Simon is in a relationship with Alice; and Alice is in a relationship with everyone. But when Alice invites her seemingly straight ex-boyfriend Eloy to move into their Sherbrooke, Quebec apartment--albeit temporarily--the Family's dynamic begins to change in unexpected ways.
Narrated by each Family member along with script-like interludes, the daily lives of Alice, Gayle, Camille, Simon, and Eloy show a loving and satisfying non-traditional relationship. Infused with Quebecois culture, The Fifth is a story rarely represented in Canadian literature. Not about infidelity or possessiveness, rather, it is about the individuals as they navigate love and desire, and punch stereotypes and stigma in the face. Now available for the first time in English from translator and award-winning author Monica Meneghetti, The Fifth is honest, delightfully unconventional, breaks down barriers and challenges norms in our society.
With a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Sherbrooke, MP Boisvert is interested in the representation of polyamory in Quebec literature and issues of sexual diversity. MP Boisvert was Executive Director of the Quebec LGBT Council (2015-2020) and consultant for various Quebec and Canadian ministries on issues of sexual and gender diversity. She is the co-founder of Fière la fête !, Sherbrooke's Pride (QC). Her contributions to Zodiaque (La Mèche, 2019), QuébeQueer (Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 2020), the academic journals Cavale, Le Pied and Caractère, as well as columns and articles on the blog "Littéraires après tout" and on the Fugues website, testify to a lively, daring and unique writing. Her first novel, Au 5e, published by Éditions La Mèche in 2017, deals with the intimacy of a love experienced between five roommates.
Monica Meneghetti's first book, What the Mouth Wants: A Memoir of Food, Love and Belonging (Dagger Editions, 2017) was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and tied as the Bi Book Award winner. The book speaks to an array of open-minded readers, from foodies to relationship anarchists. Her translation from Italian, The Call of the Ice: Climbing 8000-meter Peaks in Winter (Mountaineers Books) was a Banff Mountain Book Award finalist. Her essay about being a queer child of Italian immigrants is found in The Globe and Mail. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction appear in print, online, in musical scores, and on stage. Meneghetti teaches writing, and offers manuscript development services, with a focus on supporting marginalized voices. Ethically non-monogamous, she lives with two of her three long-term partners of diverse races, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Born in Canada in the region of Treaty 7 (Calgary), she gratefully acknowledges being an unsettled white settler, living on unceded traditional Coast Salish territories (Vancouver).
"The vignettes of The Fifth emanate wit, warmth, and charm--a celebration of queer, polyamorous community and the joyful mess of ordinary life. It's easy to love these characters as much as they love each other."
--Kim Fu, author of The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
"A unique take on polyamory in a Quebecois setting. MP Boisvert--as translated by Monica Meneghetti--beautifully captures how an unknown roommate can turn into an intimate ally, how our insecurities can overwhelm us and that love can be heartbreakingly complex, no matter the number of partners. The Fifth gives us a fly-on-the-wall view of the struggles and depth of what it takes to choose your family and stand by those relationships."
--Jenny Yuen, author of Polyamorous: Living and Loving More