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Five Frenchmen go off to war, two of them leaving behind a certain young woman who longs for their return. But the main character in 1914 is the Great War itself. Jean Echenoz, the multi-award-winning French literary magician whose work has been compared to Joseph Conrad and Lawrence Sterne, has brought that deathtrap back to life, leading us gently from a balmy summer day deep into the insatiable-and still unthinkable-carnage of trench warfare.With the delicacy of a miniaturist and with irony both witty and clear-eyed, the author offers us an intimate epic with the atmosphere of a classic movie: in the panorama of a clear blue sky, a biplane spirals suddenly into the ground; a tardy piece of shrapnel shears the top off a man's head as if it were a soft-boiled egg; we dawdle dreamily in a spring-scented clearing with a lonely shell-shocked soldier strolling innocently to a firing squad ready to shoot him for desertion.But ultimately, the grace notes of humanity in 1914 rise above the terrors of war in this beautifully crafted tale that Echenoz tells with discretion, precision, and love.
Bestselling French wunderkind Tanguy Viel, heir to the legacy of Georges Simenon, has created his own literary genre in the noir tradition: thrillers with Proustian attention to detail and Freudian insights into his characters. A master of style and suspense, Viel explores moral dilemmas in poetic language rarely found in a crime novel. Called "a marvel of grace and precision" by the French press, Beyond Suspicion is a story of marriage, murder, and double-crosses. Set in the south of France where the stakes are high and no one is beyond suspicion, this Hitchcockian tale presents siblings and lovers in constantly shifting configurations. The grace and precision of Viel's language are eloquently captured by prizewinning translator Linda Coverdale's lyrical prose.
One of Simenon's critically acclaimed roman durs, The Blue Room is a tale of the destructive power of lust and guilt."He felt no resentment towards Andree for biting his lip. In the context of their lovemaking, it had its place."For Tony and Andree, there are no rules when they meet in the blue room at the Hotel des Voyageurs. Their adulterous affair is intoxicating, passionate--and dangerous. Soon it turns into a nightmare from which there can be no escape. Simenon's stylish and sensual psychological thriller weaves a story of cruelty, reckless lust, and relentless guilt.From the Trade Paperback edition.
A meditation on escaping the chaos of modern life and rediscovering the luxury of solitude. Winner of the Prix Médicis for nonfiction, The Consolations of the Forest is a Thoreau-esque quest to find solace, taken to the extreme. No stranger to inhospitable places, Sylvain Tesson exiles himself to a wooden cabin on Siberia's Lake Baikal, a full day's hike from any "neighbor," with his thoughts, his books, a couple of dogs, and many bottles of vodka for company. Writing from February to July, he shares his deep appreciation for the harsh but beautiful land, the resilient men and women who populate it, and the bizarre and tragic history that has given Siberia an almost mythological place in the imagination. Rich with observation, introspection, and the good humor necessary to laugh at his own folly, Tesson's memoir is about the ultimate freedom of owning your own time. Only in the hands of a gifted storyteller can an experiment in isolation become an exceptional adventure accessible to all. By recording his impressions in the face of silence, his struggles in a hostile environment, his hopes, doubts, and moments of pure joy in communion with nature, Tesson makes a decidedly out-of-the-ordinary experience relatable. The awe and joy are contagious, and one comes away with the comforting knowledge that "as long as there is a cabin deep in the woods, nothing is completely lost."
Hugo Horiot is in love with wheels and all that cranks or turns. He is obsessed with the otherworldly language of pipes--they run, he imagines, from his family home to the center of the earth. He causes endless trouble at home and hates school. He muses: "I dream asleep, I dream awake"--but he dreams so hard he shuts out the world with reveries that are not just curious but dangerous and painful too. School is a prison he must escape, his teachers oppressors, and his classmates "a band of jolly torturers." This is the portrait of a boy who might happen to suffer from autism, but who is also a beautiful rebel inspired to blaze his own path through childhood to find an enduring sense of personal freedom.From the Hardcover edition.
In June 2002, journalists throughout the world began to hear of the gang rape of a Pakistani woman from the impoverished village of Meerwala. The rape was ordered by a local clan known as the Mastoi and was arranged as punishment for indiscretions allegedly committed by the woman's brother. While certainly not the first account of a female body being negotiated for honor in a family, and (sadly) not the last, journalists and activists were captivated. This time the survivor had chosen to fight back, and in doing so, single-handedly changed the feminist movement in Pakistan. Her name was Mukhtar Mai, and her decision to stand up to her accusers was an act of bravery unheard of in one of the world's most adverse climates for women. By July 2002, Mai's case was headline news in Pakistan and under international scrutiny, the government awarded her the equivalent of 8,500 U.S. dollars in compensation money (a historic settlement), and her attackers were sentenced to death. Mukhtar Mai went on to open a school for girls in an effort to ensure that future generations would not suffer, as she had, from illiteracy. In this rousing account, Mai describes her experience and how she has since become an agent for change and a beacon of hope for oppressed women around the world. Timely and topical, In the Name of Honor is the remarkable and inspirational memoir of a woman who fought and triumphed against exceptional odds.
In June 2002, journalists throughout the world began to hear of the gang rape of a Pakistani woman from the impoverished village of Meerwala. The rape was ordered by a local clan known as the Mastoi and was arranged as punishment for indiscretions allegedly committed by the woman's brother. While certainly not the first account of a female body being negotiated for honor in a family, and (sadly) not the last, journalists and activists were captivated. This time the survivor had chosen to fight back, and in doing so, single-handedly changed the feminist movement in Pakistan. Her name was Mukhtar Mai, and her decision to stand up to her accusers was an act of bravery unheard of in one of the world's most adverse climates for women. By July 2002, Mai's case was headline news in Pakistan and under international scrutiny, the government awarded her the equivalent of 8,500 U.S. dollars in compensation money (a historic settlement), and her attackers were sentenced to death. Mukhtar Mai went on to open a school for girls in an effort to ensure that future generations would not suffer, as she had, from illiteracy. In this rousing account, Mai describes her experience and how she has since become an agent for change and a beacon of hope for oppressed women around the world. Timely and topical,In the Name of Honor is the remarkable and inspirational memoir of a woman who fought and triumphed against exceptional odds.
The first annual omnibus edition in the new Penguin Inspector Maigret series, comprising four titles from the series so far: Pietr the Latvian, The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien, The Carter of La Providence and The Grand Banks Cafe. Additional material includes the original French first edition covers, art directed by Georges Simenon himself.Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels. 'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant.' - John Gray'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories.' - The Guardian'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness.' - The IndependentFrom the Hardcover edition.the latter part of his life.
"To make the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda is a painful task that we have no right to shirk-it is part of being a moral adult."-Susan SontagIn the late 1990s, French author and journalist Jean Hatzfeld made several journeys into the hilly, marshy region of the Bugesera, one of the areas most devastated by the Rwandan genocide of April 1994, where an average of five out of six Tutsis were hacked to death with machete and spear by their Hutu neighbors and militiamen. In the villages of Nyamata and N'tarama, Hatzfeld interviewed fourteen survivors of the genocide, from orphan teenage farmers to the local social worker. For years the survivors had lived in a muteness as enigmatic as the silence of those who survived the Nazi concentration camps. In Life Laid Bare, they speak for those who are no longer alive to speak for themselves; they tell of the deaths of family and friends in the churches and marshes to which they fled, and they attempt to account for the reasons behind the Tutsi extermination. For many of the survivors "life has broken down," while for others, it has "stopped," and still others say that it "absolutely must go on."These horrific accounts of life at the very edge contrast with Hatzfeld's own sensitive and vivid descriptions of Rwanda's villages and countryside in peacetime. These voices of courage and resilience exemplify the indomitable human spirit, and they remind us of our own moral responsibility to bear witness to these atrocities and to never forget what can come to pass again. Winner of the Prix France Culture and the Prix Pierre Mille, Life Laid Bare allows us, in the author's own words, "to draw as close as we can get to the Rwandan genocide."
Drawn from the life of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors of his time,Lightning is a captivating tale of one man's curious fascination with the marvels of science.Hailed by the Washington Post as "the most distinctive voice of his generation," Echenoz traces the notable career of Gregor, a precocious young engineer from Eastern Europe, who travels across the Atlantic at the age of twenty-eight to work alongside Thomas Edison, with whom he later holds a long-lasting rivalry. After his discovery of alternating current, Gregor quickly begins to astound the world with his other brilliant inventions, including everything from radio, radar, and wireless communication to cellular technology, remote control, and the electron microscope.Echenoz gradually reveals the eccentric inner world of a solitary man who holdsa rare gift for imagining devices well before they come into existence. Gregor is a recluse--an odd and enigmatic intellect who avoids women and instead prefers spending hours a day courting pigeons in Central Park.Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Echenoz once again demonstrateshis astonishing abilities as a prose stylist as he vividly captures the life of an isolated genius. A beautifully crafted portrait of a man who prefers the company of lightning in the Colorado desert to that of other human beings, Lightning is a dazzling new work from one of the world's leading contemporary authors.
During the spring of 1994, in a tiny country called Rwanda, some 800,000 people were hacked to death, one by one, by their neighbors in a gruesome civil war. This book is a report by journalist Jean Hatzfeld, who traveled to Rwanda several years later, to interview ten participants in the killings, eliciting extraordinary testimony from these men about the genocide they perpetrated.
When the son of a wealthy businessman fears for his father's life, Maigret is plucked from retirement to visit New York on an unlikely quest. The twenty-seventh book in the new Penguin Maigret series.Aged 56 and in his first year of retirement at Meung-sur-Loire, Maigret is surprised with a visit by Jean, the son of wealthy New York businessman John Maura. With the assistance of his aging lawyer, Jean convinces Maigret to accompany him to New York, where he believes his father is in danger. But things take an unexpected turn upon their arrival when it is Jean himself who disappears. Set against the mysterious backdrop of New York City, Maigret's investigation must unearth old crimes, outsmart treacherous characters, and overcome his status as an outsider policeman in the city.
A new translation of Georges Simenon's gripping tale of lost identity. Book sixteen in the new Penguin Maigret series.A man picked up for wandering in obvious distress among the cars and buses on the Grands Boulevards. Questioned in French, he remains mute . . . A madman? In Maigret's office, he is searched. His suit is new, his underwear is new, his shoes are new. All identifying labels have been removed. No identification papers. No wallet. Five crisp thousand-franc bills have been slipped into one of his pockets.A distressed man is found wandering the streets of Paris, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. The answers lead Maigret to a small harbour town, whose quiet citizens conceal a poisonous malice.Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Death of a Harbour Master.'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant.' - John Gray 'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories.' - The Guardian 'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness.' - The IndependentFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
Latifa describes the consequence of the ruthless rule of the Taliban on the dreams and aspirations of young women in Afghanistan.
Georges Simenon's riveting tale of deception in an isolated community, part of Penguin's series of new Inspector Maigret translations "She came forward, the outlines of her figure blurred in the half-light. She came forward like a film star, or rather like the ideal woman in an adolescent's dream. 'I gather you wish to talk to me, Inspector . . . but first of all please sit down . . .' Her accent was more pronounced than Carl's. Her voice sang, dropping on the last syllable of the longer words." Maigret has been interrogating Carl Andersen for seventeen hours without a confession. He's either innocent or a very good liar. So why was the body of a diamond merchant found at his isolated mansion? Why is his sister always shut away in her room? And why does everyone at Three Widows Crossroads have something to hide?
In a magical realm, three teenage girls-Jade, Opal, and Amber-are chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Although they meet as strangers, they must learn to trust one another with their lives as they embark on an epic journey, armed only with magical stones and one another. On the day of their fourteenth birthday, they set out on a quest that will require them to overcome heinous enemies-like the ferocious raptors, birds of prey that feast on fear; and the torturous Ghibduls, who inflict pain for sport and theater-in an effort to save an enchanted yet threatened land called Fairytale. Along the way, they encounter miraculous horses that have the gift of reading their riders' thoughts; the brave Adrien of Rivebel, who captures the heart of one of the girls; and Oonagh, the girls' childlike guide, living in the remote crystalline grotto, who will advise them on their course. At the same time, in a parallel world, a young girl named Joa fights for her life in a hospital bed in Paris. While she is dreaming, her thoughts transport her to an unknown realm where three young heroines fight a spectacular battle. Their success or failure will determine the fate of Fairytale.
France's preeminent fiction writer is frequently credited with a kind of literary magic, an ability to craft stories with such precision and detail that readers are caught off guard by the powerful currents of emotion and imagination that lie just beneath the placid surface of his writing. As Gary Indiana put it in Bookforum, "Echenoz risks everything in his fiction, gambling on the prodigious blandishments of his voice to lure his readers into a maze of improbabilities and preposterous happenings."The Queen's Caprice-seven new stories presented in English for the first time-reveals Echenoz at the height of his talents. The author takes us on a journey across radically different places and landscapes, giving free rein to a "terrific sense of humor tinged with existential mischief" (L'Express). The title story explores a tiny corner of the French countryside; "Nelson" offers a brilliant miniaturist portrait of the hero of the Battle of Trafalgar; "Babylon" sketches the ancient city of Mesopotamia, based on trace descriptions from Herodotus; and other stories visit the forests of England, the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, Tampa Bay, and the interior of a submarine. Amid the thrill and allure of this voyage of words, "again and again we pause to savor the richness of Echenoz's startling, crystalline observations" (Lydia Davis).
Here is the real inside story--not the one about the Stieg Larsson phenomenon, but rather the love story of a man and a woman whose lives came to be guided by politics and love, coffee and activism, writing and friendship. Only one person in the world knows that story well enough to tell it with authority. Her name is Eva Gabrielsson. Eva Gabrielsson and Stieg Larsson shared everything, starting when they were both eighteen until his untimely death thirty-two years later at the age of fifty. In "There Are Things I Want You to Know" about Stieg Larsson and Me, Eva Gabrielsson accepts the daunting challenge of telling the story of their shared life steeped in love and sharpened in the struggle for justice and human rights. She chooses to tell it in short, spare, lyrical chapters, like snapshots, regaling Larsson's readers with the inside account of how he wrote, why he wrote, who the sources were for Lisbeth and his other characters--graciously answering Stieg Larsson's readers' most pressing questions--and at the same time telling us the things we didn't know we wanted to know--about love and loss, death, betrayal, and the mistreatment of women.
A single volume that gathers together three of the most remarkable novels from Jean Echenoz, the "most distinctive French voice of his generation" (The Washington Post), Three by Echenoz demonstrates the award-winning author's extraordinary versatility and elegant yet playful style at its finest."A parodic thriller sparkling with wit" (L'Humanité), Big Blondes probes our universal obsession with fame as a television documentary producer tries to track down a renowned singer who has mysteriously disappeared. A darkly comedic, noir-style tour de force, it finally answers the age-old question: do blondes have more fun?"Fluid, never forced...like a garment that fits beautifully even inside-out" (Elle), Piano brings Dante's Inferno to contemporary Paris, following Max Delmarc, a concert pianist suffering from paralyzing stage fright and alchoholism, as he meets his untimely death and descends through purgatory-part luxury hotel, part minimum-security prison-into a modern vision of hell.Running is "a small wonder of writing and humanity" (L'Express)-a portrait of the legendary Czech athlete Emil Zátopek, who became a national hero, winning three gold medals at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics even as he was compelled to face the unyielding realities of life under an authoritarian regime.
Meet Paul Blick: born in France (but not Paris); son of a car dealer; provincial sociology student-cum-theoretical revolutionary; briefly employed (by his father-in-law); married and soon to discover adultery and other satisfactions of a desperate househusband as consort of a high-flying wife who conquers the world as CEO of a Jacuzzi-manufacturing company. This not-so-extraordinary Frenchman is delivered to the not-so-extraordinary awareness of having arrived in middle age more a product of his times, his country, and blind chance than a creature of his own free will. Jean-Paul Dubois gives us a man whose life reflects the story - the mind and the heart - of a society coming belatedly, poignantly, and often hilariously to grips with the abiding pain and intermittent beauty of what living has become.
Les Éditions de Minuit, publisher of Marguerite Duras and Alain Robbe-Grillet, rarely publishes a debut novel. Jean Echenoz, current star of this revered French literary house and enthusiastic fan of Julia Deck, confesses that he didn't send his first novel to Minuit because the publisher is "too demanding...too good for me." Yet thirty years later, a first novel published by Minuit has gripped French readers and taken the literary world by storm.Viviane is both an engrossing murder mystery and a gripping exploration of madness, a narrative that tests the shifting boundaries of language and the self. For inspiration, Deck read the work of another Minuit star, Samuel Beckett, because, as she says, "he positions himself within chaos and gives it coherence." This breakthrough novel, nominated for the Prix Femina, the Prix France Inter, and the Prix du Premier Roman, is sure to become a contemporary classic. Linda Coverdale, one of the most celebrated French translators working today, has created a faithful and propulsive English text that has been revised and approved by the author.
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