The Imago Stage
Longlisted for the 2022 DUBLIN Literary Award
A woman must emerge from the virtual world she's created to confront her flesh-and-blood past and family.
Growing up with a menacing drunk for a father and a grief-stricken mother, a girl spends her 1980s childhood staring at the television to escape the tension, depression, and looming violence that fill her suburban home. After winning a modelling competition, she dedicates herself to becoming a placid image onto which anything can be projected, a blank slate with a blank stare. Earning enough in Paris to retire in her twenties, she buys a studio in Montreal and retreats from the world and its perceived threats, cultivating her existence as an image through her virtual reality avatar. But when her mother develops cancer and nears the end of her life, she is forced to leave her cocoon - surrounded by her posse of augmented reality superheroes - and interact with the world and her parents without the mask of her perfect, virtual self.
Georges offers up an alienated childhood with shifting pop culture obsessions, a woman's awakening to the role of the image in culture, and her eventual isolation in her apartment and the world online. It is a catalogue of the anxieties of an age, from nuclear war to terrorism, climate change to biological warfare. Set in the past and not-too-distant future of Montreal, The Imago Stage is an ominous tale of oppression, suppression, and disembodiment.
About this Author
After studying film and art history, Karoline Georges began a multidisciplinary artistic approach where video, audio art, photography, literature, and 3D modeling coexisted. She is the author of seven books, including Under the Stone (finalist for the 2012 Quebec Booksellers' Prize). In 2012, she received the Artistic Creation Award from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec. Her latest novel, The Imago Stage, has won several honors in French, including the Governor General's Literary Award in 2018. Karoline currently lives in Montreal. Rhonda Mullins is a Montreal-based translator who has translated many books from French into English, including Jocelyne Saucier's And Miles To Go Before I Sleep, Gregoire Courtois' The Laws of the Skies, Dominique Fortier's Paper Houses, and Anais Barbeau-Lavalette's Suzanne. She is a seven-time finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Translation, winning the award in 2015 for her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Twenty-One Cardinals. Novels she has translated were contenders for CBC Canada Reads in 2015 and 2019 and one was a finalist for the 2018 Best Translated Book Award. Mullins was the inaugural literary translator in residence at Concordia University in 2018. She is a mentor to emerging translators in the Banff International Literary Translation Program.
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