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Based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, who survived alone for almost five years on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, The Mysterious Island is considered by many to be Jules Verne's masterpiece. "Wide-eyed mid-nineteenth-century humanistic optimism in a breezy, blissfully readable translation by Stump" (Kirkus Reviews), here is the enthralling tale of five men and a dog who land in a balloon on a faraway, fantastic island of bewildering goings-on and their struggle to survive as they uncover the island's secret.From the Trade Paperback edition.
It seems there is no genre of writing Marie NDiaye will not make her own. Asked to write a memoir, she turned in this paranoid fantasia of rising floodwaters, walking corpses, eerie depictions of her very own parents, and the incessant reappearance of women in green. Just who are these green women? They are powerful (one was NDiaye's disciplinarian grade-school teacher). They are mysterious (one haunts a house like a ghost and may be visible only to the author). They are seductive (one stole a friend's husband). And they are unbearably personal (one is NDiaye's own mother). They are all, in their way, aspects of their creator, at once frightening, menacing, and revealing of everything submerged within the consciousness of this singular literary talent. A courageous, strikingly honest, and unabashedly innovative self-portrait, NDiaye's kaleidoscopic look at the women in green is a revelation to us all - about how we form our identities, how we discover those things we repress, and how our obsessions become us.
Pierre is a veteran bartender in a café in the outskirts of Paris. He observes his customers as they come and go - the young man who drinks beer as he reads Primo Levi, the fellow who from time to time strips down and plunges into the nearby Seine, the few regulars who eat and drink there on credit - sizing them up with great accuracy and empathy. Pierre doesn't look outside more than necessary; he prefers to let the world come to him. Soon, however, the café must close its doors, and Pierre finds himself at a loss. As we follow his stream of thoughts over three days, Pierre's humanity and profound solitude both emerge. The Waitress Was New is a moving portrait of human anguish and weakness, of understated nobility and strength. Lire est un plaisir describes Dominique Fabre as a "magician of the everyday."
The Wrong Side of Paris, the final novel in Balzac's The Human Comedy, is the compelling story of Godefroid, an abject failure at thirty, who seeks refuge from materialism by moving into a monastery-like lodging house in the shadows of Notre-Dame. Presided over by Madame de La Chanterie, a noblewoman with a tragic past, the house is inhabited by a remarkable band of men--all scarred by the tumultuous aftermath of the French Revolution--who have devoted their lives to performing anonymous acts of charity. Intrigued by the Order of the Brotherhood of Consolation and their uplifting dedication to virtuous living, Godefroid strives to follow their example. He agrees to travel--incognito--to a Parisian slum to save a noble family from ruin. There he meets a beautiful, ailing Polish woman who lives in great luxury, unaware that just outside her bedroom door her own father and son are suffering in dire poverty. By proving himself worthy of the Brotherhood, Godefroid finds his own spiritual redemption.This vivid portrait of the underbelly of nineteenth-century Paris, exuberantly rendered by Jordan Stump, is the first major translation in more than a century of Balzac's forgotten masterpiece L'Envers de l'histoire contemporaine. Featuring an illuminating Introduction by Adam Gopnik, this original Modern Library edition also includes explanatory notes.From the Hardcover edition.