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When a bailiff turns up, a teenager tries to salvage her mother, their dignity and the TV. When a bailiff arrives at a housing project on the edge of Paris to draw up a routine... Read more
When a bailiff turns up, a teenager tries to salvage her mother, their dignity and the TV. When a bailiff arrives at a housing project on the edge of Paris to draw up a routine inventory of goods in view of seizure, the reception he receives from Rose Melle and her teenage daughter is more than he has bargained for. Rose, forever unhinged by the trauma of childhood spent under Nazi occupation, mistakes him for a collaborationist thug and assails him with her alternately tragic and hilarious memories of Vichy France. In a narrative that lurches giddily between 1942 and 1997, Salvayre picks at the sores of recent French history, exposing its continuing authoritarianism. "The Company Of Ghosts" won the Prix Novembre in France.
The Company of Ghosts Paperback edition by Lydie Salvayre
Lydie Salvayre is a French writer. Born in the south of France to Republican refugees from the Spanish Civil War, she went on to study medicine in Toulouse and continues to work as a practicing psychiatrist.
Cleaned Out tells the story of Denise Lesur, a 20-year-old woman suffering the after-effects of a back-alley abortion. Alone in her college dorm room, Denise attempts to understand how her suffocating middle-class upbringing has brought her to such an awful present. Ernaux, one of France's most important contemporary writers, daringly breaks with formal French literary tradition in this moving...
In the tradition of Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds, Gilbert Sorrentino's Mulligan Stew, and Raymond Queneau's The Flight of Icarus, Robert Pinget's Mahu or The Material tells the story of Mahu, a lazy man who may be a character in his friend Latirail's failing novel, which is taken over by characters invented by Sinture, yet another writer. The latter half of the novel consists of Mahu's...
?Boris Vian's early death robbed French literature of a novelist who was coherent while still modern. Heartsnatcher is an esoteric, surrealistic comedy about guilt, set in a deceptively familiar, almost ordinary locale.? ?New Statesman
"Mobile is not only a memorable experience, accomplishing that rich task of all true art?providing the reader with new eyes?but it is also work which fellow writers and artists can profit from because it supplies the best of all ingredients: stimulation."?New York Herald Tribune
In his second "novel," Newspaper, the acclaimed writer, photographer, and artist Edouard Levé made perhaps his most radical attempt to remove himself from his own work. Made up of fictionalized newspaper articles, arranged according to broad sections?some familiar, some not?Newspaper gives us a tour of the modern world as reported by its supposedly impartial chroniclers. Much of this "news" is...
In France, Alain Robbe-Grillet's final novel was sold in shrink-wrap, labeled with a sticker warning readers that this perverse fairy tale might offend certain sensibilities. It tells the story of Gigi, also known as Djinn, who is being schooled by her father to be a perfect slave and mistress. Running the gamut of unacceptable subject matter from incest to torture, this book abounds with...
Kalniete's book is a moving and eloquent testimony to her family and to the Latvian nation--to their shared fate during more than fifty years of occupation. It is an indictment of the inhuman repression of both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Above all, it is the story of human survival, and it has become the most-translated Latvian book in recent history.
Here we have the anatomy of the contemporary writer, as imagined by the pseudonymous, "post-exotic" Antoine Volodine. His writers aren't the familiar, bitter, alcoholic kind, however; nor are they great, romantic, tortured geniuses; and least of all are they media darlings and socialites. No, in Volodine's universe, the writer is pitted in a pathetic struggle against silence and sickness--that is,...
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