Finalist, Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, 2008
Hermenautic Circle, Finalist, Best Translated Book of 2008
French Voices Award, 2008
A lonely young woman works as an announcer in Paris's gare du Nord train station. Obsessed with a man attached to another woman, she wanders through the world of dinner parties, shopping excursions, and chance sexual encounters with a sense of haunting expectation. As something begins to happen between her and the man she loves, she finds herself at a crossroads, pitting her desire against her sanity. This smashing debut novel sparkles with mordant humor and sexy charm
In French journalist Curiol's mesmerizing debut novel, an unnamed young woman drifts, solitary and aimless, through contemporary Paris. She works as an announcer at a train station and is in love with a man who lives with another woman. Her longing to connect with others and dismaying inability to assert herself leaves the protagonist vulnerable to approaches by strangers with doubtful intentions, and she finds herself in a number of sordid and perilous encounters (a one-night stand with a transvestite, trouble with a drug dealer). The sparely plotted novel takes some surprising turns toward the end, as the protagonist and her beloved tentatively become involved, and she reveals to him the roots of her emotional fragility. The novel broods in a classically French way, and the bleak meanderings are beautifully wrought. The ending is, of course, a downer, but it's earned and powerful. (Sept.)
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Seven Stories Press
September 30, 2008
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