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Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
Larry Tremblay

Larry Tremblay is a writer, director, actor and specialist in Kathakali, an elaborate dance theatre form which he has studied on numerous trips to India. He has published more than twenty books as a playwright, poet, novelist and essayist, and he is one of Quebec’s most-produced and translated playwrights (his plays have been translated into twelve languages).

The publication of Talking Bodies (Talonbooks, 2001) brought together four of his plays in English translation. He played the role of Léo in his own play Le Déclic du destin in many festivals in Brazil and Argentina. The play received a new production in Paris in 1999 and was highly successful at the Festival Off in Avignon in 2000. Thanks to an uninterrupted succession of new plays (Anatomy Lesson, Ogre, The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi, Les Mains bleues, Téléroman, among others) in production during the ’90s, Tremblay’s work continues to achieve international recognition. His plays, premiered for the most part in Montreal, have also been produced, often in translation, in Italy, France, Belgium, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Argentina and Scotland. In 2001, Le Ventriloque had three separate productions in Paris, Brussels and Montreal; it has since been translated into numerous languages. More recently, Tremblay collaborated with Welsh Canadian composer John Metcalf on a new opera: A Chair in Love, a concert version of which premiered in Montreal in April 2005. In 2006 he was awarded the Canada Council Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for his contribution to the theatre. He was a finalist in 2008 and 2011 for the Siminovitch Prize. One of Quebec’s most versatile writers, Tremblay currently teaches acting at l’École supérieure de théâtre de l’Université du Québec à Montréal.

LATEST Larry Tremblay NEWS

March 2015 : Larry Tremblay’s Abraham Lincoln in Sudbury

November 2014 : New Arrival! War Cantata / Child Object

October 2014 : Last Chance: the Larry Tremblay Fiction Special

October 2014 : Montreal Review of Books on The Obese Christ

July 2014 : Our Fall 2014 Lineup!

May 2014 : 85 Ebooks Published To Date!

April 2014 : Three New Arrivals!

January 2014 : Browse Our Spring 2014 Catalogue!

November 2013 : New Book Honours Sheila Fischman and Canadian Tradition of Translation


The Bicycle Eater

Finalist for the 2006 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation


War Cantata / Child Object

“A great theatrical text that speaks to the mechanics of hatred: hard, visceral, and uncompromising.”
– Yves Rousseau, LeQuatrième.com

“With a vocabulary that does not fear ugliness and vulgarity, Larry Tremblay … digs into pain while providing relevant reflection [and] traces the contours between commitment and poetry … [between] the weight of savagery and the hardness of a crippled civilization.”
– Olivier Dumas, Montheatre.qc.ca


The Obese Christ

“a disconcerting book – and that’s exactly what it intends to be. Three dozen scene-driven chapters, each two or three pages long; dense in their depiction of a man’s confusion, lucid and clear as a chair dragged across the linoleum floor of a quiet kitchen. … There are not many books that make this reader’s flesh crawl, but The Obese Christ is undoubtedly one of them. … If it sounds like your kind of fun, you’ll be hard pressed to find better …”
Montreal Review of Books

“This disturbing novel slowly and ingeniously unfolds, revealing an ever-darkening scenario. … Suspense is cleverly built up, understanding subtly created. … an intense and gripping journey enhanced by Tremblay’s lyrical, evocative language, his effective narrative technique, and his meticulous attention to the everyday, often unappetizing, details of housework, clothing, bodies.”
Event magazine

“This cinematographic novel advances with machinelike precision worthy of Hitchcock.”
Le Soleil

“Larry Tremblay has concocted an amazing psycho-religious thriller.”


Abraham Lincoln Goes to the Theatre

“… explores the wellsprings of psychic and social violence.”
—Canadian Encyclopedia



"What lingers is a degree of delight at Tremblay’s ability not so much to weave a storyline as to unravel one with such finesse …"
Toronto Sun


Ventriloquist, The

“This is the best new Quebec play in many years.” —Robert Lévesque, C’est bien meilleur le matin (Radio-Canada) “A brilliantly constructed play that breaks through theatrical convention.” — Le Soleil “Without a doubt the most recent play by the author of The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi is a fascinating thing.” — La Presse

“Eschewing a traditional narrative structure, Larry Tremblay’s The Ventriloquist creates level upon level of dramatic tension; the result is a riveting play excitingly free of any pretense towards kitchen-sink realism ? Tremblay’s play, like a deeply thoughtful gift, is stunning.”

— Rain Taxi Review of Books

“This translation [is] skilfully wrought by director Keith Turnbull … This is, from the get-go, a foray into the absurd, but you are soon so busy trying to keep track of the many layers of Tremblay’s twisted scenario that the absurdity becomes secondary. What lingers is a degree of delight at Tremblay’s ability not so much to weave a storyline as to unravel one with such finesse and beauty.”

— Toronto Sun


The Bicycle Eater

"Larry Tremblay’s broad experience as a playwright is evident in The Bicycle Eater, a novel which breathes theatricality. Things and people are never quite what they seem in this gender-bending ride through the topsy-turvy tunnels of 27-year-old photographer Christophe Langelier’s obsession with Anna … This is also a good book for anyone who appreciates the surreal. There is something poetic about the way the narrative slips back and forth as easily as a dream, transcending the limits of linear thinking. Some of the monologues delivered by Tremblay’s quirky cast of characters have words flooding the page in a sparkling stream of consciousness, gushing with metaphysical musings. And what gorgeous images are rendered."
Montreal Review of Books

"The most memorable novel I’ve read lately … I found it an eerily seductive tale of desire and transformation. Tremblay’s magical language leads us through consumptive anguish, into surreal burlesque, onward to a fierce reality."
— Christopher Willard, novelist and art critic (quoted in the Calgary Herald and Ottawa Citizen)

"Extravagance drives this book, and by sheer tenacity finally vaults it beyond the range of critical harping … Tremblay’s story unfolds in paroxysms of the improbable, straddling dreamland and reality."
Globe and Mail

"A superb translation of Larry Tremblay’s wonderfully surreal 2002 novel."

"Sheila Fischman demonstrates her skill and creativity in rendering this intense work, full of wordplay and inventiveness. Her translation consistently maintains the author’s distinctive humour and intellectual detachment."

— 2006 Governor General’s Literary Awards Jury

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