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list price: $19.95
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2018
ISBN:9781771962070
publisher: Biblioasis

Madame Victoria

by Catherine Leroux, translated by Lazer Lederhendler

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0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.95
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2018
ISBN:9781771962070
publisher: Biblioasis
Description

In 2001, a woman’s skeleton was found in the woods overlooking Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital. Despite an audit of the hospital’s patient records, a forensic reconstruction of the woman’s face, missing-person appeals, and DNA tests that revealed not only where she had lived, but how she ate, the woman was never identified. Assigned the name Madame Victoria, her remains were placed in a box in an evidence room and, eventually, forgotten.

But not by Catherine Leroux, who constructs in her form-bending Madame Victoria twelve different histories for the unknown woman. Like musical variations repeating a theme, each Victoria meets her end only after Leroux resurrects her, replacing the anonymous circumstances of her death with a vivid re-imagining of her possible lives. And in doing so, Madame Victoria becomes much more than the story of one unknown and unnamed woman: it becomes a celebration of the lives and legacies of unknown women everywhere.

By turns elegiac, playful, poignant, and tragic, Madame Victoria is an unforgettable book about the complexities of individual lives and the familiar ways in which they overlap.

About the Authors

Catherine Leroux

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Lazer Lederhendler is a Montreal-based translator specializing in contemporary Québécois fiction and nonfiction. His work has earned him distinctions in Canada and abroad, including multiple nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Award, which he won in 2008 for the translation of Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner. He is also the translator of Gaétan Soucy’s novel, The Immaculate Conception, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation, and the winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Prize. Ravenscrag, Lederhendler’s translation of a novel by Alain Farah, was published by Arachnide in April 2015.

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Contributor Notes

Catherine Leroux was born in 1979 in the Northern suburbs of Montreal. After holding various jobs she became a journalist and devoted herself to writing. Her first novel, Marche en forêt, was published in 2011 by Éditions Alto, and her newest novel is Madame Victoria (Éditions Alto, 2015). The Party Wall, her English-language debut published with Biblioasis in 2016, was selected for Indies Introduce for Summer/Fall 2016, was shortlisted for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and won the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Translation.

Editorial Review

Praise for Madame Victoria

“An imaginative, haunting, and insightful examination of the lives of women...absorbing and often poignant, Madame Victoria is an achievement, both as a mystery about the missing identity of one woman and in its portrayal of women’s lives more broadly.” Foreword Reviews

Praise for Catherine Leroux

“…superbly crafted…Leroux skillfully reveals the inner worlds of her achingly human characters and the intricate bonds that connect them to each other. Images from this beautiful and moving book will haunt readers.” —Publishers Weekly

“…full of insightful passages, dynamic characters and surprising situations. The Party Wall is a searching investigation of familial ties of biology and biography and the complex ways in which self-discovery affects our relationships.” —The Winnipeg Review

“Initially, The Party Wall reads like a collection of linked stories; past the halfway mark, however, it reveals itself as something more intricate and cumulative… A surprising, carefully structured novel that for English readers will bring to mind David Mitchell, this feels much more expansive than its page count.” —The Globe and Mail

“A revelation… an emotionally affecting, intellectually stimulating examination of separation and connection.”—Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette

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