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Monday March 29, 2010 in Books
At forty-one, Eddy is in existential extremis. He once had an enviable life—a wife he adored, a young son, a cozy suburban house surrounded by carefully planted and sculpted gardens, the luxury to pursue his passion and become a professional horticulturalist. Now he’s separated from his wife, estranged from his son, he’s let his garden grow wild—like the rest of his life, it’s totally out of control. When his son, Maxime, tired of being embarrassed by his father’s dilapidated house, his garden gone to seed and his old beater of a car, decides to leave home and live with his cool, professional mother—who immediately demands twice the alimony—Eddy goes on a rampage, smashing his son’s furniture and hurtling it and his possessions through windows he neglects to open first. Ending up in the hospital, the doctor diagnoses “a slight case of fatigue.”
As Eddy plunges deeper into despair, insomnia and self-destruction, frantically searching for a way to live an authentic life, punching out his boss and finally threatening his best friend with a gun, the narrative voice of the novel changes, and we begin to see Eddy, his parents, his childhood and his past loves through the eyes of his wife, friends and companions.
Stéphane Bourguignon, the creator of the much-loved television series La vie, la vie, about a group of thirty-somethings in Montreal, has said that he wanted this book to look at the darker side of life. Written like a surrealist Camus on steroids, in multiple voices, with an uncanny eye and ear for graphic physicality and keen psychological insight, Bourguignon’s examination of relationships between men and women, fathers and sons, past wounds and present possibilities is filled with a raucous warmth and humanity—but it is also intensely, darkly and almost unbearably humorous.
ISBN 13: 9780889225961 | ISBN 10: 889225966
5.5 W x 8.5 H x 0.5 D inches | 224 pages
$19.95 CAN / $19.95 US
Backlist | Fiction | Bisac: FIC019000
Finalist for the 2009 Governor General’s Award for Translation
About the ContributorsStéphane Bourguignon
Montreal-born Stéphane Bourguignon is a revered humorist in Quebec. He is the author of the award-winning television series Life, Life, which is regarded in Quebec with the same veneration as Seinfeld. He was awarded the prestigious Prix Gémeaux for his work on the series. His novels (A Slight Case of Fatigue is the third) have been received with the same enthusiasm. In 2003, Bourguignon received the Prix littéraire intercollégial for the French original of A Slight Case of Fatigue—Un peu de fatigue.Phyllis Aronoff
Phyllis Aronoff translates fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from French to English. The Wanderer, her translation of Régine Robin’s La Québécoite, received the 1998 Jewish Literary Award for fiction. The Great Peace of Montreal of 1701, by Gilles Havard, co-translated with Howard Scott, won the Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Award. A Slight Case of Fatigue, by Stéphane Bourguignon, another co-translation with Howard Scott, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Phyllis Aronoff is a past president of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada and currently represents translators on the Public Lending Right Commission of Canada.Howard Scott
Howard Scott is a Montreal literary translator who works with fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. His translations include works by Madeleine Gagnon, science-fiction writer Élisabeth Vonarburg, and Canada’s Poet Laureate, Michel Pleau. Scott received the Governor General’s Literary Award for his translation of Louky Bersianik’s The Euguelion. The Great Peace of Montreal of 1701, by Gilles Havard, which he co-translated with Phyllis Aronoff, won the Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Award. A Slight Case of Fatigue, by Stéphane Bourguignon, another co-translation with Phyllis Aronoff, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Howard Scott is a past president of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada.
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.