From the acclaimed author of Fields of Glory comes a story of war and remembrance, tender mercies, and absent heroes.
Hailed as a masterpiece, Jean Rouaud's first novel was awarded France's most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt, and sold over a million copies worldwide. Rouaud rocketed to literary fame and was proclaimed the finest writer to come out of France in a generation. Of Illustrious Men establishes as fact what the first novel promised--that Rouaud is a writer of remarkable power, subtlety, and originality. Lovingly set in the same region as Fields of Glory, the novel is about the author's father, Joseph, a traveling salesman who died at forty-one and left a family in shock behind him. In the mind of the grieving eleven-year-old son--too young to have really known him--his dead father's exploits in the Resistance during World War II were the stuff of daydreams. His father was more than just a traveling salesman, a quiet family man--he was a hero, a warrior, a legend.
But the narrator is no longer that eleven-year-old boy; he is a mature and gifted writer. And though he may still ache for the loss of his father, he also knows that Joseph's illustriousness can be found not only in the heady days of wartime glory . . . but also in the moments of domestic peace. Of Illustrious Men evokes scenes of both war and peace with exquisite beauty and understated and poignant tenderness.
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October 27, 2011
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