Paul at Home

Paul at Home is a book by Michel Rabagliati.

Michel Rabagliati

Paul at Home is Quebecois superstar Michel Rabagliati's most personal book yet, a riveting, emotional, and frequently amusing take on the losses and loneliness of being closer to retirement than to university. Paul is in his mid-50s, a successful cartoonist with an achy shoulder living in a house he once shared with his wife and daughter. The backyard is unkempt, full of weeds. A swing set sits idle, slowly rusting beside a half-dead tree Paul planted with his then-five-year-old daughter. The room that belonged to his now-18-year-old daughter is mostly unused, especially once she decides to move overseas.

Left unspoken but lingering in the background is Paul's divorce after a three decade relationship with his high school sweetheart. Amid all of this emotional turmoil, Paul visits his ailing mother in the final months of her life. Like Paul, she divorced in mid-life after a long marriage. She spent most of her remaining years alone or in unfulfilling relationships, which Paul implicitly fears might happen to him. Online dating only seems to make the world worse.

Rabagliati doesn't shy away from these intimate issues, approaching them as much with self-deprecating humor as with sorrow or pain. Characterized by both a deep insight and a willingness to poke fun at life's shortcomings, Paul at Home is a playful and poetic rumination on loss and the sometimes unsettling changes that come with middle age. (From Drawn & Quarterly)

Paul at Home is on the shortlist for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for translation. The winners will be announced on Nov. 17, 2021.

Michel Rabagliati is a cartoonist from Montreal. He has written several semi-autobiographical comics including Paul Up North, Paul Goes Fishing and Paul Joins the Scouts.

Helge Dascher is a translator living in Montreal. She has translated more than 20 graphic novels from French or German into English, including work by Guy Delisle, Julie Delporte and Phillipe Girard.

Rob Aspinall is a translator. His other works include the translations of 100 Days in Uranium City by Ariane Dénommé and Factory Summers by Guy Delisle (both co-translated with Dascher).

More about Michel Rabagliati

Paul à Québec hits the big screen

7 years ago
Duration 2:15
The popular graphic novel by Michel Rabagliati is one of this fall's most highly anticipated releases. Jeanette Kelly reports.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?