Finalist for the 2015 ReLit Novel Award
From celebrated Quebecois author Bertrand Laverdure comes Universal Bureau of Copyrights, a bold, strange and addictive story that envisions a world where free will doesn’t exist, and an enigmatic global corporation buys and sells the copyrights for all things on Earth, including real and fictional characters. Through this novel, which is part poetic narrative, part sci-fi-dystopian fantasy, readers become acquainted with the main character, a man who deconstructs himself as he navigates the mystifying passages of the story. Having no control over his environment, time continuum, or body, he is a puppet on strings, an icon in a video game and, as he eventually discovers within the bowels of the Universal Bureau of Copyrights, the object of countless copyrights. With touches of Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions and Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, Universal Bureau of Copyrights packs a multitude of modern cultural references into an audacious exploration of identity and one’s place in the world.
Watch the BookThug Author Interview:
Watch the Book Launch and Reading:
“In many ways, Universal Bureau of Copyrights is the poetic, minimalist brother to Trifonova’s Rewrite.” —Andrew Wilmot for All Lit Up
“Laverdure’s clever commentary on identity, ownership and control keep us guessing right up until the end.” —The Times Literary Supplement
“Laverdure’s Swiftian eye for the savage ironies revealed in the amusement addictions of the Hive Mind provokes a new kind of laughter in the dark.” —Ottawa Review of Books
“The elegant English translation of Bertrand Laverdure’s novel, Universal Bureau of Copyrights (Oana Avasilichioaei, 2014), pivots on the contradictory premise that when imagination becomes reality and wild thoughts materialize, free will is lost rather than celebrated.” —Matrix
“Much like the viewer of the experimental film, I’m far from certain what it all means…. But the best books aren’t always the easiest ones.” —Ambos Journal of Quebec Literature in Translation
Interviews and Profiles:
The Proust Questionnaire with Bertrand Laverdure —Open Book Toronto
Character Study : Main Character from Universal Bureau of Copyrights —All Lit Up
Bertrand Laverdure is an award-winning poet, novelist, literary performer, and blogger. His poetry publications include Rires (2004) and Sept et demi (2007). He has written four well-received novels, Gomme de xanthane (2006), Lectodôme (2008), J’invente la piscine (2010), Bureau universel des copyrights (2011). Lettres crues, a book of literary correspondence with Quebecois author Pierre Samson, was published in the fall of 2012. Most recently, he published a YA poetry collection, Cascadeuse (2013). Awards include the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts (1999), and the Rina-Lasnier Award for Poetry for Les forêts (2003). Les forêts was also nominated for the Emile-Nelligan Award for Poetry (2000), while Audioguide was nominated for the Grand Prix du Festival International de Poésie de Trois-Rivières (2003), and Lectodôme for the Grand Prix littéraire Archambault (2009). Find Laverdure on his blog, http://technicien-coffeur.blogspot.ca/, or follow him on Twitter @lectodome.
Oana Avasilichioaei’s previous translations include Wigrum by Quebecois writer Daniel Canty (2013), The Islands by Quebecoise poet Louise Cotnoir (2011) and Occupational Sickness by Romanian poet Nichita Stănescu (2006). In 2013, she edited a feature on Quebec French writing in translation for Aufgabe (New York). She has also played in the bounds of translation and creation in a poetic collaboration with Erín Moure, Expeditions of a Chimæra, (2009). Her most recent poetry collection is We, Beasts (2012; winner of the QWF’s A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry), and her audio work can be found on Pennsound. She lives in Montreal. Learn more about Avasilichioaei at www.oanalab.com.