The fifth novel in the Desrosiers Diaspora series from Québécois national treasure Michel Tremblay, winner of the Governor General’s Award, the Chalmers Award, the Molson Prize, and the Prix France-Québec
It’s May 1922, and preparations are in full swing for a "grand melee" – the marriage of Nana and Gabriel, which will take place the following month. There’s just one problem: Nana’s wedding dress has yet to be bought. The mercurial Maria, torn between her desire to measure up as a mother and the inescapable constraints of her poverty, wonders how to pay for the wedding. And she’s not the only one battling demons – the thought of the upcoming reunion unsettles every member of the large and dispersed Desrosiers family. While the wedding invitations announce a celebration, they also stir up old memories, past desires, and big regrets.
The Grand Melee extends Michel Tremblay’s beloved familial and historical saga, and bridges the Desrosiers Diaspora series and the now-classic Chronicles of the Plateau Mont-Royal.
Born in a working-class family in Quebec, novelist and playwright Michel Tremblay was raised in Montreal's Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood. An ardent reader from a young age, Tremblay began to write, in hiding, as a teenager. One of the most produced and 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 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.