Twists of Fate

Translated by Linda Gaboriau
By Michel Tremblay

Twists of Fate
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Michel Tremblay’s Twists of Fate gathers volumes 6 and 7 of the critically acclaimed Desrosiers Diaspora series of novels, If by Chance and Destination Paradise. In If by Chance, set in 1925, the great Ti-Lou, the famous She-Wolf of Ottawa, returns to Montréal. After a fruitful ... Read more


Overview

Michel Tremblay’s Twists of Fate gathers volumes 6 and 7 of the critically acclaimed Desrosiers Diaspora series of novels, If by Chance and Destination Paradise. In If by Chance, set in 1925, the great Ti-Lou, the famous She-Wolf of Ottawa, returns to Montréal. After a fruitful career at the Château Laurier, in the royal suite where she welcomed diplomats and men of the world, politicians and ministers of worship, she packs up and sneaks off, her suitcases replete with savings acquired at the cost of her body. Unrepentant, always whimsical, a damsel in distress, Louise Wilson-Desrosiers was a proud, free, exemplary courtesan …When she arrives in the hall of the Windsor station, she wonders what surprises life may have in store for her. Five possible fates await her, each with their share of risks and opportunities, of good and less good fortune. But in each of these lives, Ti-Lou will have to deal with more than mere chance, because awaiting her at the crossroads are the blade of loneliness and, worse still, the fear of allowing herself to be loved. In Destination Paradise, we enter the Paradise Club, on 1930s Montréal’s Main Street, one of the few places that caters to old boys, in a spot dubbed the Ringside. It’s where Édouard Tremblay made his entry into the “big world,” shortly after becoming a shoe seller on the avenue du Mont-Royal. Precocious despite his eighteen years of age, he is carried away by his double, the Duchess of Langeais, whose story he has just read in Balzac’s eponymous novel. Of course, we already know that Édouard will become the Main’s undisputed queen of the Montréal drag scene, associated with the spectacular Acapulco nights; but we knew less about Édouard’s beginning in life, the childhood of his stage character. Destination Paradise tenderly exposes Édouard’s rite of passage.

Linda Gaboriau

A major figure in Quebec theatre, MICHEL TREMBLAY has built an impressive body of work as a playwright, novelist, translator, and screenwriter. To date, Michel’s complete works include 29 plays (including 2 theatrical adaptations of his own work); 30 novels; 6 collections of autobiographical stories; a collection of tales; 7 screenplays; 46 translations/adaptations of works by foreign writers; 9 plays and 12 stories printed in diverse publications; an opera libretto; a song cycle; a Symphonic Christmas Tale and 2 musicals. His plays have been published and translated into 40 languages and have garnered critical acclaim in Canada, the United States, and more than 50 countries around the world. His name can be found in the Larousse and Robert Dictionaries, the Who’s Who Encyclopedia, the Dictionary of International Biography and the Encyclopedia Britannica. During his career, Michel has received more than 80 prizes, citations and honours including the Grand Prix de la Francophonie, awarded by the Académie française in 2018, as well as the Prince Pierre de Monaco Literary Prize and the Prix Gilles-Corbeil for his contribution to the arts in 2017. A six-time winner of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, he won nine Chalmers Awards and five Grand Prix du public presented during Montreal’s annual book fair le Salon du livre. In 1999, he was awarded the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. He has also received six honorary doctorates.

Michel Tremblay

Born in a working-class family in Québec, 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 seventy-five 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 and was promoted to Grand Officier in 2015. 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 Québec, 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 twenty-seven plays and twenty-seven novels.

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