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Fall 2016 - Talonbooks

You Will Remember Me
By (author): Francois Archambault Translated by: Bobby Theodore
9781772010190 Paperback , Trade English General/trade Jan 10, 2017
$18.95 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.32 in | 140 gr 144 pages Talonbooks
DRAMA / Canadian
Memory, personal, familial, and societal – is the central theme of this new play by Governor General’s Award-winning playwright François Archambault. Translated by Bobby Theodore, this work follows a family’s struggle with dementia. Edouard is a University professor and historian, a figure prominent in the public eye and a long-time sovereignist. He has been proud throughout his life of his prodigious memory. As memory fails, Edouard tests the ability of family members to care for him.

The play also examines collective memory and the current state of affairs in Quebec. Edouard has been appearing on talk shows since his retirement, railing against the dumbing down of society and the adverse effects of technology. Archambault uses personal memory as a foil and metaphor to explore social memory, particularly reexamining moments from the history of the Parti Québécois.

Subtle, moving, and funny, You Will Remember Me shows that living completely in the present moment is a nightmare. Harkening to the past, and memory are essential for the human condition.

You will Remember Me opened in French in 2014 and was produced in English at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.

François Archambault: François Archambault graduated from the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada in 1993 and has also completed a major in French Studies at the Université de Montréal. Between 1989 and 1998, he wrote 12 plays and his work appeared in seven anthologies. His 1992 play Le jour de la fête de Martin was among the 13 finalists selected in the Concours Val’en Scène in Valenciennes, France, and received a special mention from the jury. In October 1995, Archambault completed within three weeks Si la tendance se maintient, a play about the referendum on Quebec sovereignty. It ran during the referendum campaign and was enthusiastically received by critics. Archambault secured his reputation as a sharp social satirist with his earlier plays Cul sec (Fast Lane) and Les gagnants (The Winners) and further established his importance on the Quebec theatre scene with the award-winning 15 Seconds, a darkly humorous play about social alienation arising from superficial relationships. 15 Seconds has had staged readings and productions in English translation across Canada and the U.K. The Leisure Society, one of Archambault’s most recent plays, was performed in Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver in the 2005-06 season.

Bobby Theodore: Bobby Theodore lives in Montreal and is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s playwriting program. His first translation, François Archambault’s 15 Seconds, was produced across Canada and earned him a nomination for the Governor General’s Award for Literary Translation in 2000. Since then, he has gone on to translate more than 12 plays, including the works of some of Quebec’s most talented playwrights, such as Genevieve Billette and Nathalie Boisvert.

“The best part of You Will Remember Me is the discussion in the car on the way home and lingering long after.”
– Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

“There’s a kind of genius in You Will Remember Me.
– Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight

“Laughter. Tears. A brilliant catharsis. You Will Remember Me … is an absolute beauty.”
– Elizabeth Drummond, @misslizbet

“Bobby Theodore’s adept English translation [of] François Archambault’s acclaimed 2014 play Tu te souviendras de moi, a big hit, [was first produced in Calgary and is now on stage in Toronto.] … Memory is a central preoccupation, of course, in Quebec, where the imperative to remember the province/nation’s ongoing fight for recognition is embossed on its licence plates: Je me souviens. … Part of the success of Archambault’s play is his lightness of touch with the national metaphor: this is principally an intergenerational family story exploring the painful effects of memory loss with sensitivity and wit.”
Toronto Star

“[A] thought-provoking, mind-bending drama …”
Tap Into Mahopac

“A curious and evolving portrayal of family dynamics and how memory and identity plays into that. What emerges are some touching and unexpected connections. … On one level, this is a play about a specific family dealing with dementia, but it also speaks to a wider social phenomenon. … What does it mean for a society to have a kind of collective dementia when it comes to its own history? Archambault offers no answer, but he leaves us with memorable questions.”
Richmond News

“Archambault’s knack for combining painful tragedy with laughter is partly what lifts the play from being what he calls ‘a disease play.’ … What seems to have struck a chord with audiences, not just in Quebec but all over Canada, is the way the play uses Alzheimer’s as a metaphor to talk about wider political issues.”
Montreal Gazette

“What really moves the play beyond medical melodrama is the connection Archambault makes between personal and national memory … Will Quebec’s memory of itself one day disintegrate, Archambault asks through Edouard? And are we short-circuiting our own synapses by living in a permanent, social media-driven present? … A thrillingly multi-layered play”
Montreal Gazette

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