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The author of the acclaimed memoir The Gate now gives us a mesmerizing account of his personal relationship with one of the most infamous torturers of the twentieth century, and of his transformative experience observing and participating in that man's recent trial for war crimes. In 1971, François Bizot was researching Khmer pottery and Buddhist ritual in rural Cambodia when, along with two Cambodian assistants, he was arrested by Communist guerrillas on suspicion of being an American spy. In captivity, Bizot would establish an unlikely rapport with his interrogator, Comrade Duch, a twenty-nine-year-old former math teacher, now commander of the jungle encampment. After many long conversations, Duch would become convinced of Bizot's innocence, finally deciding to release his prisoner against the wishes of his superiors, including one Saloth Sar--the future Pol Pot. And so it was on Christmas Day 1971 that Bizot was allowed to depart the camp but obliged to leave his assistants behind. In 1999, Bizot would hear of the arrest of the "butcher of Tuol Sleng." This was the nom de guerre that Comrade Duch had earned after releasing Bizot and proceeding to exterminate some ten thousand Cambodians, including Bizot's assistants, Lay and Son. Duch's unexpected capture after years in hiding presented François Bizot with his first opportunity to confront the man who'd held him captive for three months and whose strange sense of justice had resulted in Bizot's being the only Westerner to survive imprisonment by the Khmer Rouge. The arrest also forced Bizot to confront a paradox: How could the man who'd been his savior have become one of the most monstrous perpetrators of the Cambodian genocide? Taking part in the trial as a witness, with Duch the sole defendant, would return Bizot to the heart of darkness. This is the testimony of what he discovered--about the torturer and about himself--on that harrowing journey.From the Hardcover edition.
When the night came, he went to the meeting-place, and quietly let himself be blindfolded. Raw as Honoré de Balzac is famed to be, this daring novella--never before published as a stand-alone book--is perhaps the most outlandish thing he ever wrote. While still concerned with the depiction of the underside of Parisian life, as is most of Balzac's oeuvre, The Girl with the Golden Eyes considers not the working lives of the poor, but the sex lives of the upper crust.In a nearly boroque rendering with erotically charged details as well as lush and extravagant language, The Girl with the Golden Eyes tells the story of a rich and ruthless young man in nineteenth century Paris caught up in an amorous entanglement with a mysterious beauty. His control slipping, incest, homosexuality, sexual slavery, and violence combine in what was then, and still remains, a shocking and taboo-breaking work.The Art of The Novella Series Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Our woe is upon us.This chilling tale of one man's descent into madness was published shortly before the author was institutionalized for insanity, and so The Horla has inevitably been seen as informed by Guy de Maupassant's mental illness. While such speculation is murky, it is clear that de Maupassant--hailed alongside Chekhov as father of the short story--was at the peak of his powers in this innovative precursor of first-person psychological fiction. Indeed, he worked for years on The Horla's themes and form, first drafting it as "Letter from a Madman," then telling it from a doctor's point of view, before finally releasing the terrified protagonist to speak for himself in its devastating final version. In a brilliant new translation, all three versions appear here as a single volume for the first time. The Art of The Novella Series Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
Their friend Marcel Proust had killed himself after the fall in diamond shares, a collapse that annihilated a part of his fortune.This is the first-ever translation into English of this startling tour-de-force by one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. The Lemoine Affair was inspired by the real-life French scandal involving Henri Lemoine, who claimed he could manufacture diamonds from coal and convinced numerous people--including officers of the De Beers diamond mine company and Proust himself--to invest in the scheme. In a series of pastiches--imitations written in the style of other writers--Proust tells the story of the embarrassment rippling across high society Paris in the wake of the scandal, poking fun at himself (in one story, a character declares that Marcel Proust is so embarrassed he's suicidal) while lampooning some of France's greatest writers, including Flaubert, Balzac, and Saint-Simon. Full of sophisticated wit and dazzling wordplay, and rife with allusions to his friend and fictional characters, many Proust scholars see the dead-on mimicry of The Lemoine Affair--written soon after Proust's rejection of society life--as the work by which he honed his own unique, masterly voice.The Art of The Novella Series Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
One single noise reached her ears now, the voice of the parrot.With an attention to the details of bourgeois life considered almost scandalous at the time, A Simple Heart will remind many why Gustave Flaubert was acclaimed as the first great master of realism. But this heart-breaking tale of a simple servant woman and her life-long search for love meant something else to Flaubert. Written near the end of his life, the work was meant to be a tribute to George Sand--who died before it was finished--and was written in answer to an argument the two were having over the importance of realism. Although the tale displays his virtuosic gift for telling detail, and is based on one of his actual servants, Flaubert said it exemplified his belief that "Beauty is the object of all my efforts." This sparkling new translation by Charlotte Mandell shows how impeccably Flaubert achieved his goal.The Art of The Novella Series Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
Recipient of three French literary awards, Mathias Énard's follow-up to the critically acclaimed Zone is a timely novel about a young Moroccan boy caught up in the turbulent events of the Middle East, and a possible murder.Exiled from his family for religious transgressions related to his feelings for his cousin, Lekhdar finds himself on the streets of Barcelona hiding from both the police and the Muslim Group for the Propagation of Koranic Thoughts, a group he worked for in Tangier not long after being thrown out on the streets by his father.Lekhdar's transformations--from a boy into a man, from a devout Muslim into a sinner--take place against the backdrop of some of the most important events of the past few years: the violence and exciting eruption of the Arab Spring and the devastating collapse of Europe's economy.If all that isn't enough, Lekhdar reunites with a childhood friend--one who is planning an assassination, a murder Lekhdar opposes.A finalist for the prestigious Prix Goncourt, Street of Thieves solidifies Énard's place as one of France's most ambitious and keyed-in novelists of this century. This novel may even take Zone's place in Christophe Claro's bold pronouncement that Énard's earlier work is "the novel of the decade, if not of the century."Mathias Énard studied Persian and Arabic and spent long periods in the Middle East. A professor of Arabic at the University of Barcelona, he received several awards for Zone--also available from Open Letter--including the Prix du Livre Inter and the Prix Décembre.Charlotte Mandell has translated works from a number of important French authors, including Marcel Proust, Gustave Flaubert, Jean Genet, Guy de Maupassant, and Maurice Blanchot, among others.
A blistering firsthand account of the conflict in Homs by the internationally acclaimed author of The Kindly Ones "We fight for our religion, for our women, for our land, and lastly to save our skin. As for them, they're only fighting to save their skin."In 2012, Jonathan Littell traveled to the heart of the Syrian uprising, smuggled in by the Free Syrian Army to the historic city of Homs. For three weeks, he watched as neighborhoods were bombed and innocent civilians murdered. His notes on what he saw on the ground speak directly of horrors that continue today in the ongoing civil war.Amid the chaos, Littell bears witness to the lives and the hopes of freedom fighters, of families caught within the conflict, as well as of the doctors who attempt to save both innocents and combatants who come under fire. As government forces encircle the city, Littell charts the first stirrings of the fundamentalist movement that would soon hijack the revolution. Littell's notebooks were originally the raw material for the articles he wrote upon his return for the French daily Le Monde. Published nearly immediately afterward in France, Syrian Notebooks has come to form an incomparable close-up account of a war that still grips the Middle East--a classic of war reportage.
One of the truly original books of the decade--written as a single, hypnotic, propulsive, physically irresistible sentence--Zone tells the story of a French Intelligence agent on his way to the Vatican to sell a briefcase of secrets. Over the course of his train ride, he thinks back over his life and all the damage he's caused in this violent century.
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