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French Corner

Season in the Congo

Season in the Congo

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This play by renowned poet and political activist Aime Césairerecounts the tragic death of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Congo Republic and an African nationalist hero. A Season in the Congofollows Lumumba's efforts to free the Congolese from Belgian rule and the political struggles that led to his assassination in 1961. Césaire powerfully depicts Lumumba as a sympathetic, Christ-like figure whose conscious martyrdom reflects his self-sacrificing humanity and commitment to pan-Africanism.

Born in Martinique and educated in Paris, Césaire was a revolutionary artist and lifelong political activist, who founded the Martinique Independent Revolution Party. Césaire's ardent personal opposition to Western imperialism and racism fuels both his profound sympathy for Lumumba and the emotional strength of A Season in the Congo.

Now rendered in a lyrical translation by distinguished scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Césaire's play will find a new audience of readers interested in world literature and the vestiges of European colonialism.

Self-Propelled Island

Self-Propelled Island

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The Self-Propelled Island is the first unabridged English translation of Jules Verne's original story featuring a famous French string quartet that is abducted by an American businessman and taken to Standard Island to perform for its millionaire inhabitants. The quartet soon discovers that Standard Island is not an island at all, but an immense, futuristic ship possessing all the features of an idyllic haven. Equipped with the most opulent amenities, Standard Island travels the Pacific Ocean, traversing the south archipelagos and stopping at many "sister" islands for the pleasure of its well-heeled inhabitants. These inhabitants soon meet with the danger, in its various forms, that is inherent in ocean travel. Meanwhile, the French quartet is witness to the rivalry that exists between the two most powerful families onboard, a rivalry that keeps the future of the island balancing on the edge of a knife.

First published in English in 1896, the novel was originally censored in translation. Dozens of pages were cut from the story because English translators felt they were too critical of Americans as well as the British. Here, for the first time, readers have the pleasure of reading The Self-Propelled Island as Verne intended it.


Jules Verne (1828-1905), the world's most translated author, wrote numerous classics of adventure and science fiction, including The Meteor Hunt, Lighthouse at the End of the World, The Golden Volcano, and Magellania, which are all available from the University of Nebraska Press. Marie-Thérèse Noiset is a professor emerita of French and translation at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has also translated Caught in the Storm by Seydou Badian. Volker Dehs is a German literary critic and leading Jules Verne specialist and biographer.


So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood

So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood

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A haunting novel of suspense from the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature

In the stillness of his Paris apartment, Jean Daragane has built a life of total solitude. Then a surprising phone call shatters the silence of an unusually hot September, and the threatening voice on the other end of the line leaves Daragane wary but irresistibly curious. Almost at once, he finds himself entangled with a shady gambler and a beautiful, fragile young woman, who draw Daragane into the mystery of a decades-old murder. The investigation will force him to confront the memory of a trauma he had all but buried. With So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood Patrick Modiano adds a new chapter to a body of work whose supreme psychological insight and subtle, atmospheric writing have earned him worldwide renown -- including the Nobel Prize in Literature. This masterly novel, now translated into twenty languages, penetrates the deepest enigmas of identity and compels us to ask whether we ever know who we truly are.

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Special Envoy

Special Envoy

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Longlisted for the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award

"Special Envoy is an exceedingly French spy thriller."
--New York Times Book Review

A dazzling satirical spy novel, part La Femme Nikita, part Pink Panther and part Le Carré--from one of the world's preeminent authors

Jean Echenoz's sly and playful novels have won critical and popular acclaim in France, where he has won the Prix Goncourt, as well as in the United States, where he has been profiled by the New Yorker and called themost distinctive voice of his generation by the Washington Post. With his wonderfully droll and intriguing new work, Special Envoy, Echenoz turns his hand to the espionage novel. When published in France, it stormed the bestseller lists.

Special Envoy begins with an old general in France's intelligence agency asking his trusted lieutenant Paul Objat for ideas about a person he wants for a particular job: someone to aid the destabilization of Kim Jong-un's regime in North Korea. Objat has someone in mind: Constance, an attractive, restless, bored woman in a failing marriage to a washed-up pop musician. Soon after, she is abducted by Objat's cronies and spirited away into the lower depths of France's intelligence bureaucracy where she is trained for her mission.

What follows is a bizarre tale of kidnappings, murders and mutilations, bad pop songs and great sex, populated by a cast of oddballs and losers. Set in Paris, rural central France, and Pyongyang, Special Envoy is joyously strange and unpredictable, full of twists and ironic digressions--and, in the words of L'Express, a pure gem, a delight.

Story of Love in Solitude

Story of Love in Solitude

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Several stories inhabit Roger Lewinter's first small book to appear in English, Story of Love in Solitude. Each story takes the form of a loop: a spider who won't stop returning; camellias that flourish and then die; dying parents whose presence is always yet felt; turning again and again to work on Rilke translations; a younger man whom the narrator sees each week at the Geneva street markets. All the tales touch on the possibility, the open possibility of love--a loop without end.

Lewinter's short fictional works are at once prose poems and a form of dreaming; they are akin to the great French tradition of things sparking emotions and emotions sparking things--part Sarraute, part Robbe-Grillet, part Perec. Plot is not really the point of his meditative works. Lewinter concerns himself more with perception, apperception, and sudden inflections of grace: loss and beauty meet in an explosion of joy, which becomes, "in its brilliance, a means of transmittal."

Story of the Eye

Story of the Eye

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Bataille's first novel: a legendary shocker that uncovers the dark side of the erotic by means of forbidden obsessive fantasies of excess and sexual extremes.

A classic of pornographic literature, Story of the Eye finds the parallels in Sade and Nietzsche and in the investigations of contemporary psychology; it also forecasts Bataille's own theories of ecstasy, death and transgression which he developed in later work.

Bataille's works ... indicated the aesthetic possibilities of pornography as an art form: Story of the Eye being the most accomplished artistically of all pornographic prose I've read.--Susan Sontag, Notes on 'Camp'

Bataille denudes himself, exposes himself, his exhibitionism aims at destroying all literature. He has a holocaust of words. Bataille speaks about man's condition, not his nature. His tone recalls the scornful aggressiveness of the surrealist. Bataille has survived the death of God. In him, reality is conflict.--Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea

I found myself being absorbed in Story of the Eye ... the symbolism really intrigued me. ... I am fascinated by the surreal erotic style of Bataille; I think he is an author I need to explore in greater details.--Michael Kito, Knowledge Lost

Street of Lost Footsteps : Rue Des Pas-Perdus

Street of Lost Footsteps : Rue Des Pas-Perdus

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Lyonel Trouillot's harrowing novel depicts a night of blazing violence in modern-day Port-au-Prince and recalls hundreds of years of violence stretching back even before the birth of Haiti in the fires of revolution. Three narrators-a madam, a taxi driver, and a post office employee-describe in almost hallucinatory terms the escalating chaos of a bloody uprising that pits the partisans of the Prophet against the murderous might of the great dictator Deceased Forever-Immortal. The drama of promise and betrayal in Haitian life inform's Street of Lost Footsteps with the grim irony and savage tenderness characteristic of writers for whom the repetitiveness of history has gone beyond tragedy, through farce, and on into insanity. With impressive originality and touching immediacy, Trouillot explores the nature of political oppression, memory, and truth. A poet, novelist, and essayist who writes in Haitian Kreyòl and French, Lyonel Trouillot is a founding member of the Haitian Writers Association. Linda Coverdale's many translations include Patrick Chamoiseau's Schooldays and Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows, both published by the University of Nebraska Press.
Stupeur Et Tremblements

Stupeur Et Tremblements

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Suite Francaise

Suite Francaise

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Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940, Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy--in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.

When Irène Némirovsky began working on Suite Française, she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where she died. For sixty-four years, this novel remained hidden and unknown.

Sylvie Aurelia les Chimeres

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Tempete : Deux Novellas

$25.00
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Terreur dans l'Hexagone

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Terrienne

$9.05
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Therese Desqueyroux

Therese Desqueyroux

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François Mauriac's masterpiece and one of the greatest Catholic novels, Thérèse Desqueyroux is the haunting story of an unhappily married young woman whose desperation drives her to thoughts of murder. Mauriac paints an unforgettable portrait of spiritual isolation and despair, but he also dramatizes the complex realities of forgiveness, grace, and redemption. Set in the countryside outside Bordeaux, in a region of overwhelming heat and sudden storms, the novel's landscape reflects the inner world of Thérèse, a figure who has captured the imaginations of readers for generations. Raymond N. MacKenzie's translation of Thérèse Desqueyroux, the first since 1947, captures the poetic lyricism of Mauriac's prose as well as the intensity of his stream-of-consciousness narrative. MacKenzie also provides notes and a biographical and interpretive introduction to help readers better appreciate the mastery of François Mauriac, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1952. This volume also includes a translation of "Conscience, The Divine Instinct," Mauriac's first draft of the story, never before available in English.
Therese Desqueyroux ( Le Livre de Poche #138 )

Therese Desqueyroux ( Le Livre de Poche #138 )

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Pour éviter le scandale et protéger les intérèts de leur fille, Bernard Desqueyroux, que sa femme Thérèse a tenté d'empoisonner, dépose de telle sorte qu'elle bénéficie d'un non-lieu.
Enfermée dans sa chambre, Thérèse tombe dans une prostration si complète que son mari, effrayé, ne sait plus quelle décision prendre. Doit-il lui rendre sa liberté ?
Therese Raquin

Therese Raquin

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Emile Zola was a French novelist who wrote in the school of naturalism and is noted for his work in revolutionizing France. The Rougon-Macquart series brought Zola literary fame and is considered his life work. It took 25 years to finish the 20 volumes. The idea of writing the social history of a family encompassing several volumes probably came from his reading the works of Balzac. Zola shows how people in a family who appear to be quite individualistic are actually quite similar. Heredity and proximity determine who we are and how we act. Theresa Raquin was first published in 1867 in serial form in L; Artiste. In 1873 Zola turned the novel into a play. In Theresa Raquin a well-intentioned aunt marries a young woman to her first cousin. Camille is sickly and selfish, and when the opportunity arises, Thrse enters into a tragic affair with Camille's friend Laurent. Zola called this novel a scientific study of temperament instead of a character study making it an example of naturalism.
Things Seen

Things Seen

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"Annie Ernaux's work," wrote Richard Bernstein in the New York Times, "represents a severely pared-down Proustianism, a testament to the persistent, haunting and melancholy quality of memory." In the New York Times Book Review, Kathryn Harrison concurred: "Keen language and unwavering focus allow her to penetrate deep, to reveal pulses of love, desire, remorse."

In this "journal" Ernaux turns her penetrating focus on those points in life where the everyday and the extraordinary intersect, where "things seen" reflect a private life meeting the larger world. From the war crimes tribunal in Bosnia to social issues such as poverty and AIDS; from the state of Iraq to the world's contrasting reactions to Princess Diana's death and the starkly brutal political murders that occurred at the same time; from a tear-gas attack on the subway to minute interactions with a clerk in a store: Ernaux's thought-provoking observations map the world's fleeting and lasting impressions on the shape of inner life.

Annie Ernaux was born in 1940 in Lillebonne, France. Her autobiographical narrative, La Place, won the Prix Renaudot, and her books, A Woman's Story and A Man's Place, were named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Ernaux's most recent novel, Les Années, is widely considered one of her greatest works. Jonathan Kaplansky has translated numerous works, including Hélène Dorion's novel Days of Sand and Hélène Rioux's novel Wednesday Night at the End of the World. Brian Evenson is a professor and director of the Literary Arts Program at Brown University. He is the author of Altmann's Tongue (available in a Bison Books edition) and, most recently, Last Days and Fugue State.