Michel Tremblay

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Michel Tremblay (born June 25, 1942) is an important Québécois novelist and playwright of the 20th century.

Born in Montreal, Tremblay grew up in the francophone neighbourhood of the Plateau Mont-Royal, whose working-class character and joual language would heavily influence his work. Tremblay's first play, Les Belles-Sœurs, was written in 1965 and premiered at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert on August 28, 1968. Its impact was huge, bringing down the old guard of Canadian theatre and introducing the Québécois dialect of joual to the mainstream. It stirred up controversy by portraying the lives of working class women and attacking the strait-laced, deeply religious society of mid-20th century Quebec.

The most profound and lasting effects of Tremblay's early plays, including Hosanna and La Duchesse de Langeais, were the barriers they toppled in Quebec society. Until the Quiet Revolution of the early 1960s, Tremblay saw Quebec as a poor, working-class province dominated by anglophone elite and the Catholic Church. Tremblay's work was part of a vanguard of liberal, nationalist thought that helped become an essentially modern society.

He later published the Plateau Mont-Royal Chronicles, a series of six novels including The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant (1978) and The Duchess and the Commoner (1982).

The second novel of this series, Thérèse et Pierrette à l’école des Saints-Anges, was one of the novels chosen for inclusion in the French version of Canada Reads, Le combat des livres, broadcast on Radio-Canada in 2005, where it was championed by union activist Monique Simard.

He is currently working on a television series entitled Le Cœur découvert ("The Open Heart"), about the lives of a gay couple in Quebec, for the French-language TV network Radio-Canada.

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