The Neptune Room

Translated by: Oana Avasilichiaeoi

Finalist for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation

Sandrine’s father is dead, and her mother has vanished into her grief. Alone and suffering from an incurable disease, the eleven-year-old girl finds companionship in her doctor, Tiresias, who morphologically changes sex in unpredictable ways (and seemingly without anyone noticing). A transformational tale about the mysteries of identity and the power dynamics that surround it, The Neptune Room pieces together life’s terrible but tender metamorphosis, opening a door onto a universe of beauty, mourning, and renewal.


Oana Avasilichiaeoi

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). She lives in Montreal.


The Neptune Room is a frenetic read, bursting with cultural, political, and philosophical references.” —Montreal Review of Books

“The beautiful prose elegantly carries the pain while imbuing each word with significance; it’s something so rarely found today. Put this in an English Undergrad class, and you’ll have students analyzing the work for months, reeling with ideas until the end of the semester.” —The White Wall Review

“Wonderful writing, images that ring like a morning bell. It’s difficult to part with The Neptune Room. We want to return to it, linger in its gravity and silence. A meditative book on the great adventure of the present, being, time, the limitations of medicine, and the heroism of those accompanying the young who leave before exploring the borders of the adult world. A rare book.” —Littérature du Québec


  • Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation 2020, Short-listed
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    280 Pages
    8.00in * 5.25in * .50in


    August 18, 2020


    Book*hug Press



    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Family Life / General

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