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Born in a working-class family in Quebec, novelist and playwright Michel Tremblay was raised in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. An ardent reader from a young age, Tremblay began to write, in hiding, as a teenager. Because of their charismatic originality, their vibrant character portrayals, and the profound vision they embody, Tremblay’s dramatic, literary, and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity; his plays have been adapted and translated into dozens of languages and have achieved huge success throughout Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East.
A seven-time recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, during his career Tremblay has received more than sixty prizes, citations, and honours, including nine Chalmers Awards and five Prix du grand public, presented during Montreal’s annual book fair, Salon du livre. Tremblay has also received six honorary doctorates.
The French Government, in 1984, honoured Tremblay’s complete body of work when it made him Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres de France; thereafter, in 1991, he was raised to Officer of the Order. In 2008, he was created Chevalier de la légion d’honneur de France. Tremblay was appointed, in 1991, Chevalier de l’ordre national du Québec. In 1999, he received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. In 2011, he was honoured with the Révolution tranquille medal, given by the Ministry of Culture of Quebec, awarded to artists, creators, and artisans who began their careers between 1960 and 1970 and who still have an influence in their field of practice. In total, Tremblay has written 27 plays and 24 novels.
July 2017 : Cross your heart and hope to read
March 2017 : Talon book design in the press
December 2016 : All Fall 2016 plays are now available!
July 2016 : Fall 2016 previews!
April 2016 : Forever Yours, Marie-Lou is on stage in England
February 2016 : Valentine’s Day Specials!
November 2014 : Michel, Ti-Jean, and Verdun, QC in the Montreal Review of Books
October 2014 : Crossing the City Is Here
August 2014 : Michel & Ti-Jean Has Arrived!
July 2014 : Watch the Trailer: Michel and Ti-Jean
July 2014 : Our Fall 2014 Lineup!
July 2014 : Fall 2014 Catalogue
October 2013 : Vancouver Writers Fest Begins Today!
May 2013 : Michel Tremblay and Magnetic North!
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)<br /> 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).
BOOK AWARDSFor the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again
Winner of the 2000 Dora Mavor Moore Award General Theatre: Outstanding New Play
BOOK AWARDSImpromptu on Nuns' Island
Finalist for the 2002 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation
BOOK AWARDSBonbons Assortis / Assorted Candies
Finalist for the 2006 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation”
QUOTES OF NOTECrossing the City
“In this novel, Tremblay not only gives his fans the background they crave on their beloved Plateau characters, he also sets the groundwork for understanding that the world and the people in it are Janus-like. Good and bad, French and English, country and city, moral and immoral, brave and scared, everything is all rolled up into this thing called life.”
– Globe and Mail
“…few men write about women with his empathetic immediacy and emotional acuity. The way they talk to each other, the various masks and voices they adopt according to the needs of the moment, their deep reserves of humour and compassion — the Desrosiers sisters, and indeed the young Nana, are so alive on the page that you all but hear them speaking. … it is to Sheila Fischman’s great credit that at not one moment in Crossing the City does the reader sense that something might be getting lost. … So, to answer the question: yes, it is good in English.”
– Montreal Gazette
“One of the pleasures of this novel is Tremblay’s adept recreation of the period. … Tremblay’s deft and empathetic hand in portraying the world of children is evident … [a] cleverly structured novel … the last line surprises, shocks and slyly illuminates the depth of Tremblay’s diasporic vision.”
– Event magazine
“The reader has the impression of actually walking along rue Sainte-Catherine, licking the windows at Dupuis Frères or Ogilvy, inside the skin of this young girl who sees her new city of Montreal as a land of fairytales filled with trams and horse-drawn carriages … it is surprising to discover in this writer an impressive work that dazzles with freshness as young Rhéauna takes in the city on her first day there.”
– Le Devoir
QUOTES OF NOTEHosanna – 3rd Edition
“[There are] masterful monologues … The play was of its time in articulating Hosanna’s relationship to gender as one of confusion…”
“Hosanna has never seemed a richer, more complex piece of writing … John Van Burek and Bill Glassco’s English translation, it should be noted, is aging like a fine wine. … Tremblay’s writing is slyly penetrating…”
—Globe and Mail
“The writing is pure Tremblay – musical, breathtakingly beautiful, and layered with emotion.”
“Fluid, glitzy … immensely full of life.”
“Written by a real playwright who can write poetic prose, handle literary technique, and create character.”
—New York Post
QUOTES OF NOTECrossing the Continent
“The empathy and tenderness that Tremblay has for his characters is evident on every page of the novel Crossing the Continent.” – Le Devoir
“In this brilliantly constructed, coming-of-age novel Nana learns and guesses a lot of things about each of the characters she encounters. By the end of her journey, she is not the same: she is not an adult, she is not a teenager, but she has learned things about life that she had never suspected existed.” – Voir
“In this novel, Tremblay not only gives his fans the background they crave on their beloved Plateau characters, he also sets the groundwork for understanding that the world and the people in it are Janus-like. Good and bad, French and English, country and city, moral and immoral, brave and scared, everything is all rolled up into this thing called life.” – The Globe and Mail”
QUOTES OF NOTEAlbertine in Five Times – 2nd Edition
“The story of a life, told by Tremblay with immense compassion.”
– Toronto Sun
“A remarkable play …. The conception is brilliant.”
– New Statesman
“Michel Tremblay’s Albertine – a fascinating, conflicted woman who refuses to take life’s knocks lying down – is one of Quebec theatre’s most celebrated characters.”
– Jackie Maxwell, Shaw Festival
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Blue Notebook
"Tremblay’s characters don’t merely exist, they live out complex, sprawling lives" — Globe and Mail”
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Red Notebook
Tremblay’s characters don’t merely exist, they live out complex, sprawling lives.
— Globe & Mail
QUOTES OF NOTEAssorted Candies for the Theatre
“It’s vintage Tremblay (out-Prousting Proust), filled with primal privations and inspirations of awe, a family’s love and terrors, the stuff that makes a writer a writer: Family. Church. Lust. Poverty. The whole enthralling works.” — Globe and Mail”
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Black Notebook
“Michel Tremblay succeeds in building a rich and tangible universe. The Black Notebook possesses a rare intelligence in painting lively portraits of those in struggle, who do not play by established rules and who cannot be defined by absolutes.”
“The themes dear to Michel Tremblay can be found in this novel: humiliation, marginality, parent-child relationships, the difficulty of being different … ”
“Tremblay’s work has always been marked by his compassion for the underdog—women more often than not—and The Black Notebook continues that tradition … The Black Notebook emerges as a powerful character study, a social history—as always with Tremblay, the political content is there, but always as an organic element of the story—as well as a love letter to the world of the theatre.”
—Montreal Review of Books
“Few will fail to empathize with the demi-heroine featuring in The Black Notebook’s pages … Despite the sometimes inescapable seriousness of his material, Tremblay will induce chortles, chuckles and belly laughs in hapless readers, not to mention expanding upon the delight readers will no doubt take in his mastery of caricature. With a stroke here, a telling detail there, he creates characters who linger in the mind to participate in a marvellously mysterious mental dance. … The internationally revered playwright continues to prove his prowess, economically telegraphing the anguish of savaged youth evaporating into an anonymous and opaque past, which can only be rescued by brave new words and lovingly shaping a fictional world that magnifies, clarifies and illuminates our own obdurate existence.”
—Globe and Mail
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.