Madame Victoria, Catherine Leroux, trans. Lazer Lederhendler (2018)
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.
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.