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Wednesday February 15, 2017 in Books
August 1915. Montreal is stifled by a heat wave while war rages in Europe. The three Desrosiers sisters – Tititte, Teena, and Maria – had been planning a whole week of vacation in the mountains, to do nothing but gossip, laugh, drink, and overeat while basking in the sun. Maria had decided to leave her children, Nana and Théo, in Montreal, in the care of a neighbour who gives her a hand when she needs it. Now Maria’s children come roaring into the kitchen, pink with pleasure, begging to come too. “I keep telling you, Momma, we’ll be as quiet as little mice,” Nana assures her. “We’ll hardly take up any room. You won’t even know we’re there.”
Reluctantly, Maria takes her children along on the week-long trip to the Laurentians. As the reader views the journey through young Nana’s eyes, we come to understand the impoverished circumstances they leave behind in Montreal, only to find poverty ever more present in the country. Yet here it is surrounded by mountains, reflected in a lovely lake, and the blue sky gives them a moment of respite. It feels good to get out of town, and Tremblay’s writing remains so vivid that the reader imagines dipping into cool lake water along with the family. Encounters with rural relatives crystallize young Nana’s true feelings for her mother, as confidences and family secrets fuse day into night.
A Crossing of Hearts continues Michel Tremblay’s Desrosiers Diaspora series of novels, a family saga set in Montreal during World War I. This third novel bursts with life as Nana, the young city girl, explores the natural world – and the enchanted forest of her inner, maturing self. The novel also further develops the character of Maria so that we understand her motivations more fully, and at the same time recognize nods to the history of Quebec and the dynamics of the family under the strictures of the Catholic church.
ISBN 13: 9781772010114 | ISBN 10: N/A
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 216 pages
$16.95 CAN / $16.95 US
Fiction | Backlist
About the ContributorsMichel Tremblay
One of the most produced and the most prominent playwrights in the history of Canadian theatre, Michel Tremblay has received countless prestigious honours and accolades. His dramatic, literary and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity, including translations of his plays that have achieved huge success in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
Awards and Recognition*
Prix du Grand (2009) La Traversée de la ville (Leméac Editeur Inc.)
Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix (2006)
Globe and Mail Top 100 Books (2003) Birth of a Bookworm
Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (2000) For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again
Chalmers Awards (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1986, 1989, 2000)
Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (1999)
Molson Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts (1994)
Louis-Hémon Prize (1994)
Montreal Book Fair Grand Public Prize (1994)
Banff Centre National Award (1992)
Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France (1991)
Chevalier of the Order of Quebec (1990)
San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Festival Long-Standing Public Service Award (1989)
CBC Anik Prize (1988)
Athanase-David Lifetime Achievement Prize (1988)
Quebec-Paris Prize (1985)
Chevalier of Arts and Letters of France (1984).
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 CBC Radio, and literary editor of the Montreal Star. She now devotes herself full time to literary translation, specializing in contemporary Quebec fiction, and has translated more than 125 Quebec novels by, among others, Michel Tremblay, Jacques Poulin, Anne Hébert, François Gravel, Marie-Claire Blais, and Roch Carrier.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.