Go Figure is the hauntingly beautiful tale of a Montreal couple alienated from each other after suffering the miscarriage of twin girls. Mammy, the wife of Rémi Vavasseur, has gone away. Not because she no longer loves him but because she no longer loves herself. She is criss-crossing Europe and Africa in the company of the dangerous and blonde Raïa, Rémi’s former mistress. Meanwhile, Rémi remodels a ramshackle house in rural Quebec, designed for Mammy, if she ever comes back, “in flesh and bed.” The novel is the journal that he keeps during their parallel journeys.
Ducharme’s writing, which has contributed to the recasting of the literary canon of Quebec, is full of echoes, juxtapositions and double meanings. With the likes of Marie-Claire Blais, Jacques Godbout and Michel Tremblay, Réjean Ducharme is one of the select québécois fiction writers who have contributed to the transformation of québécois letters since the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s.
Short-listed 1994 Governor General's French Fiction Award
“Boasts complex flavours that are so savoury and sustaining you may be compelled to go back for seconds ...” —Montreal Review of Books
“To read Ducharme … is to get luxuriously lost in a chaotic mass of simultaneous, tangential and sometimes conflicting ideas. […] His writing is a delight, playing on words, creating double entendres and weaving different threads of narrative and thought …” —Rain Review of Books
“The key to Ducharme is his masterful yet playful command of language, his ability to use many if not all the meanings of a word at once and to redirect everyday expressions … This linguistic richness explains in part why Ducharme has barely been translated into English or other languages.”
Novelist and playwright Réjean Ducharme was born in Saint-Félix-de-Valois, in the region of Joliette, Quebec in 1941. Réjean Ducharme is considered one of the most significant and original voices in Quebec literary history. He has also exhibited his sculptures and paintings created with found objects, under the pseudonym Roch Plante. He is not only one of Quebec ‘s most influential playwrights, but also one of the province’s enigmas: the man has not been seen in public for over a decade and there are few photographs of him.
Will Browning holds a Docorate of Modern Langauges in French and Spanish from Middlebury College, and an MA in Spanish from the Université de Paris. He is currently Professor at Boise State University. Browning publishes French-language reviews and articles, in addition to his translation work.
…stereotypes do not exist. Réjean Ducharme’s Go Figure (transl. Will Browning) is the hauntingly …
…in English translations by Will Browning: Go Figure (originally published in French in 1994 as Va …
…by Réjean Ducharme (translated by Will Browning) Go Figure by Réjean Ducharme (translated by Will Browning) …