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.
Oana Avasilichioaei interweaves poetry, translation, photography, sound, and performance to explore an expanded idea of language (whether textual, visual, aural, etc.) as reverberatory and evolutionary, polylingual and polyphonic poetics, historical structures, borders and movement. Her six poetry collections include We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry) and Limbinal (Talonbooks, 2015). Recent sound-performance works include EIGHT OVER TWO (2019, Semi Silent Award) and OPERATOR (2018), and she is currently writing a libretto for a one-act opera (FAWN, Toronto). She has also translated eight books of poetry and prose from French and Romanian, including Bertrand Laverdure’s Readopolis (Book*hug, 2017, Governor General Literary Award). Based in Montréal, Avasilichioaei frequently crosses borders to perform her work in Canada, the United States, and Europe, and she was the 2018 Audain Visual Artist in Residence at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. See www.oanalab.com.
"Laverdure's clever commentary on identity, ownership, and control keeps us guessing right up to the end."
- The Times Literary Supplement
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