The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant
Michel Tremblay, translated by Sheila Fischman
This exuberant novel offers a lively portrait of a working-class neighbourhood in Montreal in the early 1940s. Though author Michel Tremblay doesn't shy away from depicting the harsh realities of life, he also shows the inhabitants' joie de vivre. There's a large cast of colourful characters, including, in a touch of the mythic, the three Fates, in the guise of knitters Rose, Violette and Mauve.
The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant was a contender for Canada Reads 2009, when it was defended by Anne-Marie Withenshaw.
Rose, Violette and Mauve were knitting. From time to time, Rose (or Violette, or Mauve) would put her knitting on her lap, cast a half-amused, half-severe glance at her sisters' work and say: "You're knitting too loose" or: "I'm glad Momma didn't give me that colour yarn!" or then again, she might say nothing at all. If she was inactive for too long, one of her sisters would look at her. "Finish your bootie, then you can daydream." And Rose (or Violette, or Mauve) would sigh discreetly and take up her work again.
From The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay, translated by Sheila Fischman ©1981. Published by Talonbooks.