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Readopolis by Bertrand Laverdure, Translated by Oana Avasilichioaei

Readopolis by Bertrand Laverdure, Translated by Oana Avasilichioaei

Winner of the  2017 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation

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Literature in Translation Series
Literary Fiction
Publication Date: April 13, 2017
264 pages
8 x 5.25 inches
ISBN 9781771662987

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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.

Watch the Book Launch and Reading:

Praise for Lectodôme:

“Brilliant, playful, perfectly convincing, Lectodôme has everything to place Laverdure in the ranks of the ‘sickest literary greats.’” —Le Devoir

Read an excerpt from  Readopolis: —Ambos Quebec Literature in Translation

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

“This is a book for book lovers.” —Publishers Weekly

Character Study: Readopolis All Lit Up

How Oana Avasilichioaei translated Readopolis and won a Governor General’s Literary Award CBC Books

Chaotics by Oana Avasilichioaei: An essay by the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award winner for translation —CBC Books

Why translator Oana Avasilichioaei Believes Language is ‘alive and creaturely’ CBC Books

Governor General’s Liteary Award winner Oana Avasilichioaei on Balancing Chaos and Control CBC Radio’s Ideas, with Paul Kennedy

The Chat with 2017 Governor General’s Award Winner (for Translation) Oana Avasilichioaei 49th Shelf

The Translator Relay: An Interview with Oana Avasilichioaei Words Without Borders

3 alumni win 2017 Governor General’s Literary Awards Concordia University News

Alumna Oana Avasilichioaei Wins Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation University of British Columbia Alum News

Interview with Oana Avasilichioaei Quebec Reads

Found in translation: discovering Canadian literary translations Liane Belway, Library and Archives Canada Blog

2017 Publisher Hits & Misses Quebec Reads

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
8×5.25 inches | 264 pages
Trade paperback ISBN 9781771662987