From award-winning writer Bertrand Laverdure comes Readopolis, a novel translated by Oana Avasilichioaei.
It’s 2006 and down-and-out protagonist Ghislain works as a reader for a publishing house in Montreal. He’s bored with all the wannabe writers who are determined to leave a trace of their passage on earth with their feeble attempts at literary arts. Obsessed by literature and its future (or lack thereof), he reads everything he can in order to translate reality into the literary delirium that is Readopolis—a world imagined out of Chicago and Montreal, with few inhabitants, a convenience store, a parrot, and all kinds of dialogues running amok: cinematic, epistolary, theatrical, and Socratic.
In the pages of Readopolis (Lectodôme in the original French), Laverdure playfully examines the idea that human beings are more connected by their reading abilities than by anything else. Funny and sardonic, whimsical and tragic, this postmodern novel with touches of David Foster Wallace and Raymond Queneau portrays the global village of readers that the Internet created, even before the 2.0 revolution.
Jury’s Citation for the Governor General’s Literary Awards, Translation:
“In Readopolis, Oana Avasilichioaei has risen to and matched the stylistic acrobatics of Bertrand Laverdure’s Lectodôme. The many voices of Quebecois writing sing through in this intelligent translation – a vertiginous ode to the pure, if rarely rewarded, pursuit of literature.”
Press Coverage for Readopolis:
“Readopolis is a stylistically ebullient interrogation of the effect that literature has on the readers who consume it.” —Steven W. Beattie, Quill and Quire
“With Readopolis, Laverdure has created a beautiful, humorous jumble of a book. ” —Dean Garlick, Montreal Review of Books
“Readopolis is at times a panorama of Montreal literary culture, at times a condemnation of the precarity and banality of cultural economies, at times a rich homage to friends and to hope, as well as to the wonders of the act of reading itself.” —Erin Moure, Tarpaulin Sky
“Readopolis is a challenging, dispiriting, intellectual novel about reading and (or as) living, and about one reader’s fervent—if largely fantasied—efforts to promote the best of Quebec literature while weeding out the worst.”—Sarah Banting, Canadian Literature
Bertrand Laverdure is a poet, novelist, and the current Poet Laureate for Montreal (2015–17). A prolific writer, Laverdure is the author of three books of poetry and four novels, including Lectodôme (2008), Bureau universel des copyrights (2011; published in English by BookThug as Universal Bureau of Copyrights in 2014), and La chambre Neptune (2016). His work has been nominated for many prizes including the 200 Nelligan Poetry Prize for Young Poets, the 2003 Grand Prix du Festival International de Poésie de Trois-Rivières, and the 2009 Grand Prix littéraire Archambault for Lectodôme.
Montreal-based writer, translator, and editor Oana Avasilichioaei has published five poetry collections, including Expeditions of a Chimæra (with Erín Moure; 2009), We, Beasts (2012; winner of the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry from the Quebec Writers’ Federation) and Limbinal (2015). Previous translations include Bertrand Laverdure’s Universal Bureau of Copyrights (2014; shortlisted for the 2015 ReLit Awards), Suzanne Leblanc’s The Thought House of Philippa (co-translated with Ingrid Pam Dick; 2015), and Daniel Canty’s Wigrum (2013).
Literature in Translation Series
April 27, 2017 | Fiction | Literature in Translation
8×5.25 inches | 220 pages
BookThug wishes to acknowledge the land on which it operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.