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Adieu, Betty Crocker continues the very well received Fillion Family Saga, which began with A Good Life and was followed by The Extraordinary Garden. In this, the third volume, Benoît investigates the life of his mother's sister, Arlette, who was a domestic presence in the extended family, but who remained a mystery to her nephew. Arlette's story appears simple at the first: she was a traditional stay-at-home mother in the 1960s and 1970s, with a home in the suburbs of Montreal, two children, and a husband who drove buses. She was always prepared for visitors, with Rice Krispies Squares or cookies on her ultra-spotless table. When her husband died in a freak accident, she was left financially well off; she should have been comfortable. But something was wrong -- something on which Benoît is not able to put his finger. Through beautiful prose and a glorious translation, the reader discovers the story of Arlette in the voices of her nephew, her son, her daughter, and, finally, herself. A tragedy, the story of Arlette is also a story of grace, courage under pressure.
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.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, to a Cree mother and a French father, Réauna, affectionately known throughout Tremblay's work as "Nana," was sent with her two younger sisters, Béa and Alice, to be raised on her maternal grandparents' farm in Sainte-Maria-de-Saskatchewan, a francophone Catholic enclave of two hundred souls. At the age of ten, amid swaying fields of wheat under the idyllic prairie sky of her loving foster family, Nana is suddenly told by her mother, whom she hasn't seen in five years and who now lives in Montreal, to come "home" and help take care of her new baby brother.So it is that Nana, with her faint recollection of the smell of the sea, embarks alone on an epic journey by train through Regina, Winnipeg, and Ottawa, on which she encounters a dizzying array of strangers and distant relatives, including Ti-Lou, the "she-wolf of Ottawa."To our delight, Michel Tremblay here takes his readers outside Quebec for the first time, on a quintessential North American journey - it is 1913, at a time of industry and adventure, when crossing the continent was an enterprise undertaken by so many, young and old, from myriads of cultures, unimpeded by the abstractly constructed borders and identities that have so fractured our world of today.This, the first in Tremblay's series of "crossings" novels, provides us with the back-story to the characters of his great Chronicles of Plateau Mont-Royal, particularly of his mother, "The Fat Woman Next Door ..." and his maternal grandmother, who, though largely uneducated, was a voracious reader and introduced him to the world of reading and books, including Tintin adventure comics, mass-market novels, and The Inn of the Guardian Angel, which fascinated the young Tremblay with its sections of dramatic dialogue, inspiring the many great plays he would eventually write.
When Roch gets a new sweater, trouble begins. Every reader will relate to Roch's dilemma and applaud his solution.
First published in l965, Hubert Aquin's Next Episode is a disturbing and yet deeply moving novel of dissent and distress. As he awaits trial, a young separatist writes an espionage story in the psychiatric ward of the Montreal prison where he has been detained. Sheila Fischman's bold new translation captures the pulsating life of Aquin's complex exploration of the political realities of contemporary Quebec.From the Paperback edition.
The asocial, sexually repressed Edgar, kneeling in grief at his mother's graveside, turns abruptly to witness a terrifying and life-altering event: the brutal rape of a young woman. Compelled by muddled instinct (and ingrained religious conviction), our hero bears the unconscious victim home, solemnly pledging to care for her - and to act as her saviour. As winter closes in, the captor's neuroses are revealed and his behaviour becomes increasingly violent, allowing the victim only one escape.With The Obese Christ, Larry Tremblay squarely situates himself within the realm of Hitchcock, Polanski, and Stephen King. A brilliant exercise in unease and paranoia, The Obese Christ demonstrates Tremblay's powerful ability to evoke dead and fear, while immersing the reader in a wrapped and putrid world told from Edgar's sanctified point of view.
Inspired by the lives of two great artists - Evelyn Rowat, fashion illustrator, and René Marcil, painter - The Painter's Wife, a novel about art and passion, is written in a language as brilliant and intense as the mercurial lives of its completely contradictory characters.
A runaway bestseller in Quebec, with foreign rights sold to 15 countries around the world, Kim Thúy's Governor General's Literary Award-winning Ru is a lullaby for Vietnam and a love letter to a new homeland.Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow - of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy's Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec. There, the young girl feels the embrace of a new community, and revels in the chance to be part of the American Dream. As an adult, the waters become rough again: now a mother of two sons, she must learn to shape her love around the younger boy's autism. Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy.From the Hardcover edition.
This second work from critically acclaimed Quebec novelist Dominique Fortier, whose debut was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award in both French and English, is an enthralling shell-game of a novel. Composed of three stories linked by theme and image, it brings alive a captivating cast of characters both historical and fictional. For lovers of boldly original literary fiction such as David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda, and Michael Cunningham's The Hours.In Wonder past and present, science and emotion, speak to each other to create a brilliant whole from three distinct parts. Readers are swept from a devastating volcanic eruption in 1902 to today's Montreal by way of a scientific love story in Victorian England. Along the way we follow Baptiste Cyparis, "The Man who Lived Through Doomsday," who traveled the length and breadth of the United States with Barnum & Bailey's circus, and meet Edward Love, the mathematician who discovered the mysterious waves that shake the earth. This luminous novel confirms Fortier as both a first-rate storyteller and as a master stylist.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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