The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel TremblayThe Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay

The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant

byMichel TremblayTranslated bySheila Fischman

Paperback | January 1, 1981

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It is the glorious second day of May, 1942. The sun is drawing the damp from earth still heavy with the end of a long Quebec winter, the budding branches of the trees along rue Fabre and in Parc Lafontaine of the Plateau Mont Royal ache to release their leaves into the warm, clear air heralding the approach of summer.Seven women in this raucous Francophone working-class Montreal neighbourhood are pregnant-only one of them, "the fat woman," is bearing a child of true love and affection. Next door to the home that is by times refuge, asylum, circus-arena, confessional and battleground to her extended family, with ancient roots in both rural Quebec and the primordial land of the Saskatchewan Cree, stands an immaculately kept but seemingly empty house where the fates, Rose, Mauve, Violet and their mother Florence, only ever fleetingly and uncertainly glimpsed by those in a state of emotional extremis, are knitting the booties of what will become the children of a whole new nation.In this first of six novels that became his Chronicles of the Plateau Mont Royal, Tremblay allows his imagination free reign, fictionalizing the lives of his beloved characters, dramatized so brilliantly in his plays and remembered so poignantly in his memoirs."The fat woman" both is and is not Michel Tremblay's mother-her extended family and neighbours more than a symbol of a colonized people: abandoned and mocked by France; conquered and exploited by England; abused and terrorized by the Church; and forced into a war by Canada supporting the very powers that have crushed their spirit and twisted their souls since time immemorial. This is a "divine comedy" of the extraordinary triumphs and tragedies of ordinary people caught up by circumstances that span the range of the ridiculous to the sublime.

About The Author

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 hav...
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Details & Specs

Title:The Fat Woman Next Door Is PregnantFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:January 1, 1981Publisher:Talon Books Ltd

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889221901

ISBN - 13:9780889221901

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Customer Reviews of The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A glimpse of Quebecor culture in the 1940s The budding of spring, a time for enlightenment and new beginnings, casts the mood for this beautiful and haunting tale told through magical realism, and reverent love for family, a place and a time. Michel Tremblay’s passion for his beginnings is shared with us through a day in the life of the residents of la rue Fabre in the heart of Montreal in the ‘40s, with the fat lady next door paying homage to his beloved mother. The mystical sisters, Rose, Violette and Mauve, have sat in their rocking chairs knitting booties for generations of the past, and persevere for seven babies soon to be, the magical triple clicking of their needles a necessity for continuum. Helplessly driven by a predetermined pattern, they are merely observers to the struggles of their tormented neighbours, as they sit with instruments in their hands and compassion in their hearts. The eccentric and opposing personalities Tremblay presents us with intermingle through the pages amidst their willful ignorance, blinding judgements, and suffocating shame. These transgressions, perpetuated by the shadow of a stifling religion, a begrudged war, combined with a lack of imagination, serve to disquiet them as they struggle to find their footing on the soft ground of the changing season. The Fat Women Next Door is Pregnant although brimming with delicious prose, did prove to be a difficult read at times. The compilation of 22 distinctly different, three-dimensional characters – a supercilious cat, a matriarchal witch, the she-wolf of Ottawa – and a writing style with no regard to paragraphs or a properly referenced dialogue, left my head swirling on more than one occasion. Seemingly each and every character begged to have their depth explored and their connection with the reader furthered, and as such, I think the story would have been better served as an elaborate, 800-page epic. Aside from this, I came away from the novel with the feeling that ‘family’ is the true essence of our being, as through all of the chaos and ridicule that can be found on these pages, the love that emits from this clan is a fortress of undeniable strength and authenticity. By the end of the story you’re sure to have a fondness in your heart for the fat woman next door. booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2009-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 4 maple leaves....... I found it a little hard to get into at first & thought that I wouldn't be able to finish it, but then I got sucked right in!!! Sometimes it was a little hard to keep track of the characters as new ones were being introduced to the end as the story is about a few main-ish characters, but mainly about a whole block with everyone having a different outlook on each other & their own living situations. Each character has their own quirks, even if they only appear briefly.
Date published: 2009-03-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from difficult I had a hard time with this book. It's very busy and with so much going on at one time it was hard to become acquainted or fond of any one character. So many people are introduced in a rush that it took me a while to get into it and then the only character I liked was the Cat Duplessis. I started to like the book somewhat at around page 199 when I finally started to be able to separate the characters and by then it was almost over.
Date published: 2009-01-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from So hard to read Without chapters and few paragraphs, it was very difficult to get into. There were s many characters, it was hard to keep track, the story line dealing with the cat was interesting. As our 'Canada Reads' book club pick, I was very disappointed.
Date published: 2009-01-14