City in the Egg, The

The City in the Egg

The City in the Egg

by Michel Tremblay; translated by Michael Bullock


  • Autumn 1999
  • ISBN 978-0-921870-68-5 (0-921870-68-X)
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 160 pages
  • Novel, Translation, Fantasy

As an innovative chronicler of the “little people” of Quebec, Michel Tremblay has no peer. Yet few Anglophone readers realize that Tremblay began as a writer of works of fantasy. Now, however, Michael Bullock, who won the Canada Council translation award for his translation of Tremblay’s first collection of stories — Contes pour buveurs attardés (Stories for Late Night Drinkers) — has worked his magic upon Tremblay’s first novel, La Cité dans l’oeuf (1969).

Here Tremblay gives free rein to his immensely fertile imagination in a story that combines extremes of fantasy with a strong science fiction element that avoids the usual obsessive preoccupation with technological concerns. The story revolves around and within a miraculous egg which the narrator inherits from his father. One day he discovers the secret of entering into the egg under certain conditions of the moon.

Once inside, he finds himself in a strange city with even stranger inhabitants, monstrous creatures, each of whom rules over a particular district and each eager to enlist the narrator on his side, for he possesses a mysterious power that they need to obtain. In his translation, Michael Bullock has remained faithful to the letter of Tremblay’s prose while capturing the spirit and power of Tremblay’s vision. A brilliant novel in its own right, The City in the Egg will prove essential to readers wishing to understand Tremblay’s dramatic and fictional ability to invest the ordinary with the bizarre.