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Fiction Literary

Six Degrees of Freedom

by (author) Nicolas Dickner

translated by Lazer Lederhendler

Knopf Canada
Initial publish date
Aug 2017
Literary, Police Procedural, Humorous
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price

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A funny and fast-paced novel about obsession and adventure, science experiments and parakeets, coding and container ships, Six Degrees of Freedom won the Governor General's Literary Award in its original French. Nicolas Dickner is a previous winner of Canada Reads for the novel Nikolski.

"Brilliant, beautiful and poetic with moments of pure reading pleasure! You read it with a smile on your lips--it's a book that makes you happy."
--Anne Michaud, Bernier et Cie, Radio-Canada

Three characters, infinite paths to freedom...
Lisa is a young woman whose longing for adventure is tethered by the demands of an eccentric mother and a father slowly succumbing to Alzheimer's. Lisa's friend Éric is an agoraphobic hacker who becomes independently wealthy before his eighteenth birthday. And Jay is a former computer pirate who's paying her debt to society, day by stultifying day, working for the RCMP in Montreal. But when Jay learns of the existence of the mysterious shipping container Papa Zulu, she begins a clandestine investigation to discover who made it disappear and what they are trying to hide.

About the authors

Nicolas Dickner is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. He is best known for his 2005 novel Nikolski, which has won numerous literary awards in Canada both in its original French and translated English editions.

Nicolas Dickner's profile page

Lazer Lederhendler is a full-time freelance translator specializing in contemporary Québécois fiction and nonfiction. His work has earned him many 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 French to English translation, and the winner of the Cole Foundation Prize for Translation awarded by the Quebec Writers’ Federation. Lazer Lederhendler lives in Montreal. 

Lazer Lederhendler's profile page


  • Long-listed, Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour
  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Award - French Fiction

Editorial Reviews

Longlisted for the 2018 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour
Winner of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for French Fiction

“Rich and skilfully constructed, Six degrés de liberté is a tender and finely written novel. Nicolas Dickner, well versed in the advances of technology, describes with intelligence and humour the ravages of globalization and unbridled capitalism while creating characters who push back all the boundaries.” —Jury statement, Governor General’s Literary Award (French-Language), 2015

“An astonishing book, of great originality.” —Bernard Lehut, RTL

“Cleverly alternating between two storylines, Nicolas Dickner has concocted a sort of techno-thriller that avoids obvious twists.” —Baptiste Liger, Lire
“While the brilliant author of Nikolski describes his new book as using ‘the same arsenal in a different way,’ Six Degrees of Freedom is nevertheless vintage Dickner. The book is propelled by the same acute intelligence, the same precise and flowing style and relentless pacing, the same pleasure in literary detours tinged with irony, the same geek culture and ‘culture’ culture, the same slightly off-kilter universe populated by hackers, loners and obsessives.” —Josée Lapointe, La Presse

A true cure-all for boredom and a testament to Dickner’s enormous talent.” —Impact Campus

Brilliant, beautiful and poetic with moments of pure reading pleasure! You read it with a smile on your lips—it’s a book that makes you happy. Which is just as well when the subject is ship containers.” —Anne Michaud, Bernier et Cie, Radio-Canada

Six Degrees of Freedom is even richer [than Dickner’s previous novels] whichever way you look at it. Even more masterful and with a remarkable structure and rhythm.” —Danielle Laurin, Le Devoir

The formidable analytical mind of Nicolas Dickner is what marks him as one of the most interesting writers of his generation. This incisive intelligence, coupled with an irresistible humour, runs through the whole novel, taking us to places we never thought possible. All you have to do is let yourself go.” —Martine Desjardins, L’Actualité

“What I like with Dickner is his extraordinary storytelling ability. It’s very well done!” —David Desjardins, Médium Large, Radio-Canada

“A novel with action, about friendship, about obsession. Nearly every sentence makes you smile.” —Anne-Josée Cameron, Cet Après-midi, Radio-Canada

Other titles by Nicolas Dickner

Other titles by Lazer Lederhendler

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