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French Corner

14 (1914) (french edition)

$16.00
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21 Days of a Neurasthenic

21 Days of a Neurasthenic

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Octave Mirbeau, author of The Torture Garden and Diary of a Chambermaid, wrote this scathing novel on the cusp of the twentieth century. Driven mad by modern life, Georges Vasseur leaves for a rest cure, where he encounters corrupt politicians, amnesiac coquettes, cheerfully sadistic killers, imperialist generals, and quack psychiatrists. Hypocrites are eternal, and not much has changed since Mirbeau wrote this acid portrait of his era.
6:41 to Paris

6:41 to Paris

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A strong plot and a touching portrayal of how any of us might feel when unexpectedly confronted by the detritus of young love ... The 6:41 to Paris is a timely reminder that the past is always waiting to ambush us.--The New York Times Sunday Book Review

Perfectly written and a remarkably suspenseful read ... an absorbing, intriguing, insightful book for all readers.--Library Journal (Starred review)

Cécile, a stylish forty-seven-year-old, has spent the weekend visiting her parents in a provincial town southeast of Paris. By early Monday morning, she's exhausted. These trips back home are always stressful and she settles into a train compartment with an empty seat beside her. But it's soon occupied by a man she instantly recognizes: Philippe Leduc, with whom she had a passionate affair that ended in her brutal humiliation thirty years ago. In the fraught hour and a half that ensues, their express train hurtles towards the French capital. Cécile and Philippe undertake their own face to face journey--In silence? What could they possibly say to one another?--with the reader gaining entrée to the most private of thoughts. This is a psychological thriller about past romance, with all its pain and promise.


Reading group guide is available from New Vessel Press.


A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fluers

A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fluers

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Adieux La Reine

$9.50
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Anchor Anthology Of French Poetry

Anchor Anthology Of French Poetry

$19.00
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First published in 1958, this collection introduced an indispensible corpus of western poetry to countless American college students, francophiles, and would-be poets -- among them Patti Smith, whose vocation was formed she says, by reading this book. The poetic and cultural tradition forged by the Symbolist poets -- Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Appollinaire, and others -- reverberated throughout the avant garde and counter-cultures of the twentieth century. Modernism, surrealism, abstract impressionism, and the Beat movement are unthinkable without the example of these poets and their theories of art, making this reissue possibly the hippest "dead white European male" anthology ever published.

Including translations by Richmond Lattimore, W. S. Merwin, Dudley Fitts, and Richard Wilbur, this anthology has stood the test of time in terms of its selection and scholarly apparatus. Now back in print after twenty years in a fresh new edition, the book features an introduction by Patti Smith that testifies to its epochal impact on her own career, as well as those of other influential latter-day poets, including Lou Reed and Jim Carroll. This rediscovered gem is sure to inspire a new generation.

Arriere-Pays ( French List )

Arriere-Pays ( French List )

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Since the publication of his first book in 1953, Yves Bonnefoy has become one of the most important French poets of the postwar years. At last, we have the long-awaited English translation of Yves Bonnefoy's celebrated work, L'Arrière-pays, which takes us to the heart of his creative process and to the very core of his poetic spirit. In his poem, "The Convex Mirror," Bonnefoy writes: "Look at them down there, at that crossroads, / They seem to hesitate, then go on." The idea of the crossroads haunts Bonnefoy's work, as he is troubled by the idea that the path not taken may lead to the arrière-pays, a place of greater plenitude, and of more authentic being--an "elsewhere in the absolute." Seized by this fear that what he terms "presence" exists always somewhere else, a little further on, Bonnefoy here sets out on a labyrinthine quest to find traces of this "original place," which he locates not only in objects of knowledge and experience as diverse as the deserts of Asia, a hill fort in India, a church in Armenia, the painting of Piero della Francesca but also, crucially, in the undivided intensity of his experiences as a child. Written with a visionary grace, The Arrière-pays is a spiritual testament to art, philosophy, and poetry. Enriched by a new preface by the poet, this volume also includes three recent essays in which he returns to his original account of an ethical and aesthetic haunting, one that recounts the struggle between our instinct to idealize--what he deems our eternal Platonism--and the equally strong need to combat this and to be reconciled with our nature as finite beings, made of flesh and blood, in the world of the here and now.

Art : A Play

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Arvida

Arvida

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Finalist for the 2015 Giller Prize

Finalist for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award

One of Quill & Quire's Books of the Year, 2015

A twenty-five-thousand-copy bestseller in Quebec, Arvida, with its stories of innocent young girls and wild beasts, attempted murder and ritual mutilation, haunted houses and road trips heading nowhere, is unforgettable. Like a Proust-obsessed Cormac McCarthy, Samuel Archibald's portrait of his hometown, a model town design by American industrialist Arthur Vining Davis, does for Quebec's North what William Faulkner did for the South, and heralds an important new voice in world literature.

Samuel Archibald teaches contemporary popular culture at the University of Quebec in Montreal, where he lectures on genre fiction, horror movies, and video games, among other subjects.

Attraction of Things

Attraction of Things

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The Attraction of Things concerns the entirety of beauty and the possibility of grace, relayed via obsessions with rare early gramophone records, the theater, translation, dying parents: all these elements are relayed in a dizzying strange traffic of cultural artifacts, friendships, losses, discoveries, and love. Roger Lewinter believes that in the realm of art, "the distinction between life and death loses its relevance, the one taking place in the other."

Whereas Story of Love in Solitude is a group of small stories, The Attraction of Things is a continuous narrative (more or less) of a man seeking (or stumbling upon) enlightenment.

"The Attraction of Things," states Lewinter, "is the story of a being who lets himself go toward what attracts him, toward what he attracts--beings, works, things--and who, through successive encounters, finds the way out of the labyrinth, to the heart, where the bolt of illumination strikes. This is the story of a letting go toward the illumination."

Au Revoir La-Haut : Roman

$27.99
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Backstabbing in Beaujolais

Backstabbing in Beaujolais

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A business magnate calls on wine expert Benjamin Cooker to kickstart his new wine business in Beaujolais, sparking bitter rivalries. Can the Winemaker Detective and his assistant keep calculating real estate agents, taciturn winegrowers, dubious wine merchants and suspicious deaths from delaying delivery of the world-famous Beaujolais Nouveau?
Bald Soprano and Other Plays

Bald Soprano and Other Plays

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The leading figure of absurdist theater and one of the great innovators of the modern stage, Eugène Ionesco (1909-94) did not write his first play, The Bald Soprano, until 1950. He went on to become an internationally renowned master of modern drama, famous for the comic proportions and bizarre effects that allow his work to be simultaneously hilarious, tragic, and profound. As Ionesco has said, "Theater is not literature. . . . It is simply what cannot be expressed by any other means."

Birth of a Bridge

Birth of a Bridge

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From one of the most exciting novelists writing in France today comes this literary saga of a dozen men and women - engineers, designers, machinery operators, cable riggers - all employees of the international consortium charged with building a bridge somewhere in a mythical and fantastic California.

Told on a sweeping scale reminiscent of classic American adventure films, this Médicis Prize-winning novel chronicles the lives of these workers, who represent a microcosm of not just mythic California, but of humanity as a whole. Their collective effort to complete the megaproject recounts one of the oldest of human dramas, to domesticate - and to radically transform - our world through built form, with all the dramatic tension it brings: a threatened strike, an environmental dispute, sabotage, accidents, career moves, and love affairs ... Here generations and social classes cease to exist, and everyone and everything converges toward the bridge as metaphor, a cross-cultural impression of America today.

Kerangal's writing has been widely praised for its scope, originality, and use of language. The style of her prose is rich and innovative, playing with different registers (from the most highly literary to the most colloquial slang), taking risks and inventing words, and playing with speed and tension through grammatical ellipsis and elision. She employs a huge vocabulary and, most strikingly, brings together words not often combined to evoke startling comparisons. Not since Vikram Seth's Golden Gate has such a great Californian novel been told.

Bite-Sized History of France

Bite-Sized History of France

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A delicious (Dorie Greenspan), genial (Kirkus Reviews), very cool book about the intersections of food and history (Michael Pollan)--as featured in the New York Times

The complex political, historical, religious and social factors that shaped some of [France's] . . . most iconic dishes and culinary products are explored in a way that will make you rethink every sprinkling of fleur de sel.
--The New York Times Book Review

Acclaimed upon its hardcover publication as a culinary treat for Francophiles (Publishers Weekly), A Bite-Sized History of France is a thoroughly original book that explores the facts and legends of the most popular French foods and wines. Traversing the cuisines of France's most famous cities as well as its underexplored regions, the book is enriched by the authors' friendly accessibility that makes these stories so memorable (The New York Times Book Review). This innovative social history also explores the impact of war and imperialism, the age-old tension between tradition and innovation, and the enduring use of food to prop up social and political identities.

The origins of the most legendary French foods and wines--from Roquefort and cognac to croissants and Calvados, from absinthe and oysters to Camembert and champagne--also reveal the social and political trends that propelled France's rise upon the world stage. As told by a Franco-American couple (Stéphane is a cheesemonger, Jeni is an academic) this is an impressive book that intertwines stories of gastronomy, culture, war, and revolution. . . . It's a roller coaster ride, and when you're done you'll wish you could come back for more (The Christian Science Monitor).

Black Bazaar

Black Bazaar

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Buttocks Man is down on his uppers. His girlfriend, Original Colour, has cleared out of their Paris studio and run off to the Congo with a vertically challenged drummer known as The Mongrel. She's taken their daughter with her. Meanwhile, a racist neighbour spies on him something wicked, accusing him of 'digging a hole in the Dole'. And his drinking buddies at Jips, the Afro-Cuban bar in Les Halles, pour scorn on Black Bazaar, the journal he keeps to log his sorrows. There are days when only the Arab in the corner shop has a kind word; while at night his dreams are stalked by the cannibal pygmies of Gabon. Then again, Buttocks Man wears no ordinary uppers. He has style, bags of it (suitcases of crocodile and anaconda Westons, to be precise). He's a dandy from the Bacongo district of Brazzaville - AKA a sapeur or member of the Society of Ambience-makers and People of Elegance. But is flaunting sartorial chic against tough times enough for Buttocks Man to cut it in the City of Light?
Blue Room

Blue Room

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"One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequaled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories." --The Guardian

Master novelist Georges Simenon's critically acclaimed 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. It soon turns into a nightmare from which there can be no escape. Heart-pounding and high-stakes, The Blue Room is a stylish and sensual psychological thriller that weaves a story of cruelty, reckless lust, and relentless guilt.

Bonjour Tristesse

Bonjour Tristesse

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A sensational 1954 French novel that has become a contemporary classic - now in a P.S. edition, with the Diane Johnson introduction.

Set against the translucent beauty of France in summer, Bonjour Tristesse is a bittersweet tale narrated by Cecile, a seventeen-year-old girl on the brink of womanhood, whose meddling in her father's love life leads to tragic consequences.

Freed from boarding school, Cecile lives in unchecked enjoyment with her youngish, widowed father -- an affectionate rogue, dissolute and promiscuous. Having accepted the constantly changing women in his life, Cecile pursues a sexual conquest of her own with a tall and almost beautiful law student. Then, a new woman appears in her father's life. Feeling threatened but empowered, Cécile sets in motion a devastating plan that claims a surprising victim.

Deceptively simple in structure, Bonjour Tristesse is a complex and beautifully composed portrait of casual amorality and a young woman's desperate attempt to understand and control the world around her.

Paperback Fiction

Bedrock Faith
By: May, Eric Charles
Memorial
By: Washington, Bryan
Lying Life of Adults
By: Ferrante, Elena
Infinite Country
By: Engel, Patricia
You Feel It Just Below the Ribs
By: Matthewson, Janina
Hench
By: Walschots, Natalie Zina

Hardcover Non-Fiction

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows
By: Ai Weiwei
Going There
By: Couric, Katie
Between the Lines
By: Beutter Cohen, Uli
David Copperfields History of Magic
By: Britland, David
Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity
By: Wengrow, David
Welcome to Dunder Mifflin
By: Silverman, Ben

Hardcover Fiction

Noor
Author: Okorafor, Nnedi
Little Hope
Author: Joella, Ethan
Chouette
Author: Oshetsky, Claire
Termination Shock
Author: Stephenson, Neal
Sentence
Author: Erdrich, Louise
All of Us Villains
Author: Herman, Christine Lynn