From Synthesis

Original title: De synthèse

Publication Date:

October 2017



Original language and publisher

French | Editions Alto

Territories Sold

Canada (English) (Coach House Books)
France (Folio SF)
Germany (Secession Verlag)
Macedonia (Begemot)
Ukraine (Anetta)


Literary Fiction

From Synthesis

Original title: De synthèse


In this unique story dedicated to mothers, the narrator creates an avatar in an attempt to cope with her pain. Karoline Georges skilfully weaves the real and the virtual in with the complexity of family, while describing solitude and the representation of the body with astonishing insight. With its intelligent and efficient prose, De synthèse transcends all genres. — GGLA Jury

With such density it carries both ambition and baggage, there are few writers in Canadian literature that meet the same level of daring while still managing to retain their balance. — Winnipeg Review

“Here is an intoxicating novel, enigmatic and deeply troubling… a brilliant book, on our relationships to art, to bodies, and to contemporary technology, which assures us that images do indeed hold the power of seduction.” — Le Vif / L’express

“A thought-provoking meditation on our relationships with images and digital life.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A lucid and provocative novel. Karoline Georges brilliantly breaks open our fascination for screens, for emoticon conversations, for beauty without imperfections, for eternal life.” — Journal de Montréal

A beautiful woman sits besides her dying mother and tells you her troubling story. A story of luminous lucidity, bold and stark, De synthèse shines a light on the end of a filial relationship. It’s all about the body, about disappearance, about composition and decomposition. It’s the story of an attempt to perfect image, beyond the disaster of the flesh. Winner of several prizes (Aurora Boréal, Arlette-Cousture, and Jacques-Brossard Sci Fi) De synthèse explores what we might be next through a visionary literary experience.

One sits immobile before the windows of her suburban home,death weighing heavily on her heart; the other is desperate to pass through the computer screen and transform herself into the very image of her digital avatar. Hers is a quest for the absolute.

One gave birth to the other, who is now trying to be reborn through a virtual body, far from the moroseness of their family home.

The story is told from the point of view of an image-obsessed woman reunited with her family just as her mother enters a terminal phase, following a long period of suffering. It’s all about the body, about disappearance, about reflections, about composition and decomposition. It’s the story of an attempt to perfect image, beyond the disaster of the flesh.

Marketing Information

  • Spanish and English translations available
  • Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award
  • Prix Jacques-Brossard de la science-fiction et du fantastique québécois
  • Prix Arlette-Cousture
  • Prix Aurora Boréal – Meilleur roman 2018
  • Finaliste of the Prix des Horizons imaginaires
  • Première sélection of the Prix des libraires du Québec