The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

Heather O'Neill's novel follows the reckless lives of twins who have grown up in the public eye because of their father's fame.

Heather O'Neill

Gorgeous twins Noushcka and Nicolas Tremblay live with their grandfather Loulou in a tiny, sordid apartment on St. Laurent Boulevard. They are hopelessly promiscuous, wildly funny and infectiously charming. They are also the only children of the legendary Québécois folksinger Étienne Tremblay, who was as famous for his brilliant lyrics about working-class life as he was for his philandering bon vivant lifestyle and his fall from grace. Known by the public since they were children as Little Noushcka and Little Nicolas, the two inseparable siblings have never been allowed to be ordinary.

On the eve of their twentieth birthday, the twins' self-destructive shenanigans catch up with them when Noushcka agrees to be beauty queen in the local St. Jean Baptiste Day parade. The media spotlight returns, and the attention of a relentless journalist exposes the cracks in the family's relationships. Though Noushcka tries to leave her family behind, for better or worse, Noushcka is a Tremblay, and when tragedy strikes, home is the only place she wants to be. (From HarperCollins Canada)

The Girl Who Was Saturday Night was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2014.

From the book

All the buildings on that block were strip clubs. What on earth was their heating bill like in the winter? They were beautiful, skinny stone buildings with gargoyles above the windows. They were the same colour as the rain. There were lights blinking around the doors. You followed the light bulbs up the stairs. They were long-life light bulbs, not the name-brand kind. The music got louder and louder as you approached the entrance of the club, like the music in horror films.

From The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O'Neill ©2014. Published by HarperCollins Canada.


Heather O'Neill, Giller finalist, reads from The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

8 years ago
Duration 1:48
The Girl Who Was Saturday Night author, Heather O'Neill, reads from the Giller-nominated book and describes what it’s like to be a finalist for the prestigious literary prize.
Celebrated Montreal writer Heather O'Neill on how gendered expectations limit the lives of young women, and why she thinks it's time to lift the protective gauze off girlhood.

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