Crossing the ContinentFront Cover
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    ISBN: 9780889226760 | Paperback

    280 pages | Pub. Date: 20111115
    5.50 W × 8.50 H × 1 D inches
    Backlist | Fiction | Bisac: FIC019000
    Rights: WORLD

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, to a Cree mother and a French father, Rhéauna, 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 myriad 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.

“The empathy and tenderness that Tremblay has for his characters is evident on every page of the novel Crossing the Continent.” – Le Devoir

By Michel 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).

Read more about Michel Tremblay

Translated by 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 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.

Read more about Sheila Fischman

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news | 2021-08-10
Le 12 août, j’achète un livre québécois / Buy a Quebec Book Day! August 12

…to Anselm over their precipitous evening meal. 2. Crossing the Continent by Michel Tremblay and translated by Sheila … Fischman Crossing the Continent takes readers on a quintessential North American … 1913, at a time of industry and adventure, when crossing the continent was an enterprise undertaken by so many, young …

news | 2020-08-05
$40 for the Desrosiers Diaspora series!

…the correct book below, and add it to your cart. Crossing the Continent Crossing the City A Crossing of Hearts Rite of …

news | 2020-07-10
A new printing of Crossing the Continent – with a new cover!

Crossing the Continent is the first instalment in beloved Québécois … drawn by BC artist and illustrator Brad Collins. Crossing the Continent tells the story of Rhéauna, who is born in … published by Talonbooks. Pick up your copy of Crossing the Continent today! …

news | 2019-12-16
Michel Tremblay's Desrosiers Diaspora series

…published by Leméac Éditeur. In the first volume, Crossing the Continent , we find Nana living with her two younger …

news | 2019-12-10
Rite of Passage journeys to Talon

…“which only hits the door of life once”? Novels Crossing the Continent (2008 Prix du grand public Salon du livre de …

news | 2017-07-21
Cross your heart and hope to read

…enjoy them all! Pick up the first in the series, Crossing the Continent , and the second as well: Crossing the City . …

news | 2015-01-16
Book Review: Michel Tremblay’s Crossing the City in the Montreal Gazette

…below. Crossing the City is the follow-up to Crossing the Continent and forms the middle part of The Desrosiers …

news | 2013-08-19
Lineup Announcement! Vancouver Writers Fest 2013 (October)

…Mochrie, Kathy Stinson, and Michel Tremblay ( Crossing the Continent , 2012), who will give two interviews: one in …