Thomas Clerc’s novel reminds us of a stubborn truth: we are all narcissists that live to accumulate shit in rooms.
Book Review: Incurable Absences — Olivia Rosenthal’s novel about Alzheimer’s and Much More
The author makes fully human an illness marked by absence and estrangement from humanity.
Book Review: Antoine Volodine’s “Bardo or Not Bardo” — Seriously Spoofing the Afterlife
One reads this strangely engaging book, like Volodine’s others, with a sort of knitted-brow amusement.
Book Review: Mathematicians in Combat — Michèle Audin’s “One Hundred Twenty-One Days”
Audin scrutinizes political commitment when it is undertaken by representatives of an intellectual discipline detached from the real world.
Book Review: Michel Houellebecq and the Wages of “Submission”
If you’ve recently been mourning the end of the Novel of Ideas—take heart. And dig in, for Submission offers a smorgasbord.
Book Review: Dystopia as Our Future — Antoine Volodine’s “Post-Exotic” Oeuvre
Antoine Volodine is a master of the prolonged, very prolonged, tongue-in-cheek spoof. But he is also dead serious.
Book Review: Two From Andreï Makine — A Matter of Trust
Makine may be plagiarizing himself, which is a perfectly legitimate thing for a writer to do, but scenes of spring snow and railroad stations become clichés even in talented hands.
Book Review: Anne Garréta’s “Sphinx” — A Compelling Story of Genderless Love
Garréta pulls off a stylistic feat: it is impossible to determine the gender of the two main characters.
Book Review: “Nagasaki”‘s Diptych of Aloneness
The success of this short novel set in Japan lies in the empathy it creates for a pair of ordinary and lonely characters.
Book Review: Into the Labyrinth of Fragmentary Memories — The Novels of Patrick Modiano
The prose of Patrick Modiano, this year’s Nobel prizewinner, has a distinctive French style whose directness and grammatical limpidity by no means exclude semantic depth and complexity.