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category: Fiction
published: Oct 2021
publisher: Talonbooks

The Grand Melee

by Michel Tremblay, translated by Sheila Fischman

tagged: literary, family life, historical, sagas

The fifth novel in the Desrosiers Diaspora series from Québécois national treasure Michel Tremblay.

It’s May 1922, and preparations are in full swing for 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. Nana’s mercurial mother, Maria, torn between her desire to measure up as a mother and the inescapable constraints of 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. This book includes a newly translated introduction by Michel Tremblay specialist and Éditions Leméac publisher Pierre Filion.

About the Authors

Michel Tremblay

A major figure in Québec literature, Michel Tremblay has built an impressive body of work as a playwright, novelist, translator, and screenwriter. To date Tremblay’s complete works include twenty-nine plays, thirty-one novels, six collections of autobiographical stories, a collection of tales, seven screenplays, forty-six translations and adaptations of works by foreign writers, nine plays and twelve stories printed in diverse publications, an opera libretto, a song cycle, a Symphonic Christmas Tale, and two musicals. His work has won numerous awards and accolades; his plays have been published and translated into forty languages and have garnered critical acclaim in Canada, the United States, and more than fifty countries around the world.

Sheila Fischman

Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Sheila Fischman was raised in Ontario and is a graduate of the University of Toronto. She is a founding member of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada and has also been a columnist for the Globe and Mail and Montreal Gazette, a broadcaster with CBCRadio, and literary editor of the Montreal Star. She now devotes herself full time to literary translation, specializing in contemporary Québec fiction, and has translated more than 125 Québec novels by, among others, Michel Tremblay, Jacques Poulin, Anne Hébert, François Gravel, Marie-Claire Blais, and Roch Carrier. Sheila Fischman has received numerous honours, including the 1998 Governor General’s Award (for her translation of Michel Tremblay’s Bambi and Me for Talonbooks); she has been a finalist fourteen times for this award. She has received two Canada Council Translation Prizes and two Félix-Antoine Savard Awards from Columbia University. In 2000, she was invested into the Order of Canada and, in 2008, into the Ordre national du Québec, and, in 2008, she received the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize for her outstanding contributions to Canadian literature. She holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Ottawa and Waterloo. Fischman currently resides in Montréal.
Contributor Notes

Sheila Fischman is the award-winning translator of some two hundred works of contemporary fiction from Québec. Along with Larry Tremblay, her authors include Hubert Aquin, Anne Hébert, Gaétan Soucy, Marie-Claire Blais, François Gravel, and Christine Eddie, among others. She has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for French to English Translation fifteen times, and has twice won it for translations of Michel Tremblay’s work; she has also received the Molson Prize in the Arts. A Member of the Order of Canada and a chevalière of the Ordre national du Québec, she lives in Montréal.

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