The story continues The second in Michel Tremblay’s new series of novels presents two very different lives. We meet Maria as she leaves the city of Providence, Rhode Island, pregnant and alone. Two years later, we also meet Maria’s older daughter, Rhéauna, as she disembarks the train at Windsor Station, having crossed the continent from her grandparents’ farm in Saskatchewan, called home to Montreal to care for her one-year-old baby brother, Théo, while Maria works.
Along the way, Crossing the City affectionately and accurately depicts Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood at the beginning of the last century. Readers will delight in the small details of description, and Tremblay fans will revel in the backstory to the characters of his great Chronicles of Plateau Mont-Royal, particularly of his mother, celebrated as Nana throughout his work, including as his famous Fat Woman next door. In this novel, Nana is the young Rhéauna, reunited with her mother, Maria, for better or for worse.
Crossing the City continues the Desrosiers Diaspora novel series.
About the Author
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 honors 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 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. He lives half the year in Montreal and the other half in Florida.
Sheila Fischman is a member of the Order of Canada and has a doctorate from the University of Waterloo. In 1999, she received an honorary 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 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.