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Joyita

Joyita

Author: Patrick Modiano
Publisher: Anagrama
ISBN: 843393810X
Pages: 176
Year: 2017-06-21
Una joven cree reconocer a su madre, que la dejó en manos ajenas de niña para irse a Marruecos, de la que no ha vuelto a saber nada y a la que da por muerta por noticias indirectas: se le aparece ahora, en un vagón de metro, en la persona de una mujer estrafalaria, de expresión ausente, vestida con un descolorido abrigo amarillo. Este encuentro, tras el que la joven sigue disimuladamente a la mujer hasta el remoto barrio en que malvive, abre las compuertas de los recuerdos de una infancia difícil y desgraciada, primero con su madre, medio actriz medio aventurera, que intentó convertirla en estrella infantil (de ahí el nombre artístico que le inventó: Joyita), para abandonarla luego en casa de algunas conocidas de vidas más o menos vidriosas. En un París frío y hostil, en blanco y negro, donde se gana la vida cuidando de una niña que quizá no es hija de la turbia e indiferente pareja con la que vive, creándose así una atribulada mise en abyme, una Joyita que ya sólo se llama Martine vaga en busca de una identidad y un amparo que halla en parte, al azar de encuentros fortuitos, en un traductor y una maternal farmacéutica cuya ayuda la pone quizá en los umbrales de un renacimiento, tras un intento de suicidio. Una vez más, con los materiales de su desconsolada infancia y con la barrera de contención de un lenguaje austero tras el que late la angustia, Patrick Modiano recorre los bandazos de una vida joven sin asideros, perdida en la geografía parisina; una vida que el autor ya bosquejó en 1982 en Tan buenos chicos, y cuyo retrato ahora completo se integra en ese universo coherente, misterioso, instantáneamente identificable, hecho de eternos retornos y fragmentos recuperados de la corriente de la memoria, cuyo vaporoso y atmosférico embrujo ha capturado ya a tantos lectores sin remedio.
Based on a True Story

Based on a True Story

Author: Delphine de Vigan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1408878836
Pages: 384
Year: 2017-04-06
'A wonderful literary trompe l'oeil: a book about friendship, writing and the boundary between reality and fantasy ... Dark, smart, strange, compelling' Harriet Lane, bestselling author of Her Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and suffering from a crippling inability to write, Delphine meets L. L. embodies everything Delphine admires; sophisticated and unusually intuitive, she slowly but deliberately carves herself a niche in the writer's life. However, as she makes herself indispensable to Delphine, the intensity of this unexpected friendship manifests itself in increasingly sinister ways. And as their lives become further entwined, L. begins to threaten Delphine's identity and her safety.
Lacombe Lucien

Lacombe Lucien

Author: Louis Malle
Publisher: Burns & Oates
ISBN: 080446460X
Pages:
Year: 1984
With a superb music score by Django Reinhardt, this is a Louis Malle film about the German occupation of France. Based on his own experiences in France during the occupation, Malle's film does not paint a pretty picture of the French Resistance and eventually he emigrated to America because of the critical reaction to this film. Essentially the tale of a young boy who wants to join the Resistance but is shunned by them because of his youth, he joins the Gestapo. Unfortunately, he then falls in love with a young Jewish girl. Push comes to shove and he suddenly has the unsympathetic Resistance and the Gestapo hot on his trail. Not a pretty picture of either side.
A Book for Her

A Book for Her

Author: Bridget Christie
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448185335
Pages: 304
Year: 2015-07-02
Bridget Christie is a stand-up comedian, idiot and feminist. On the 30th of April 2012, a man farted in the Women’s Studies Section of a bookshop and it changed her life forever. A Book For Her details Christie’s twelve years of anonymous toil in the bowels of stand-up comedy and the sudden epiphany that made her, unbelievably, one of the most critically acclaimed British stand-up comedians this decade, drawing together the threads that link a smelly smell in the women’s studies section to the global feminist struggle. Find out how nice Peter Stringfellow’s fish tastes, how yoghurt advertising perpetuates rape myths, and how Emily Bronte used a special ladies’ pen to write Wuthering Heights. If you’re interested in comedy and feminism, then this is definitely the book for you. If you hate both then I’d probably give it a miss. “Christie is adept at turning on a sixpence between being comical, or serious, or both at once, and at pricking her own earnestness.” Telegraph ‘Christie piles derision and tomfoolery upon everyday sexism, while never pretending that jokes alone will solve the problem.’ Guardian
Paris Nocturne

Paris Nocturne

Author: Patrick Modiano
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300218923
Pages: 160
Year: 2015-10-27
This uneasy, compelling novel begins with a nighttime accident on the streets of Paris. The unnamed narrator, a teenage boy, is hit by a car whose driver he vaguely recalls having met before. The mysterious ensuing events, involving a police van, a dose of ether, awakening in a strange hospital, and the disappearance of the woman driver, culminate in a packet being pressed into the boy’s hand. It is an envelope stuffed full of bank notes. The confusion only deepens as the characters grow increasingly apprehensive; meanwhile, readers are held spellbound. Modiano’s low-key writing style, his preoccupation with memory and its untrustworthiness, and his deep concern with timeless moral questions have earned him an international audience of devoted readers. This beautifully rendered translation brings another of his finest works to an eagerly waiting English-language audience. Paris Nocturne has been named “a perfect book” by Libération, while L’Express observes, “Paris Nocturne is cloaked in darkness, but it is a novel that is turned toward the light.”
War and Turpentine

War and Turpentine

Author: Stefan Hertmans
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101874031
Pages: 304
Year: 2016-08-09
Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017 A New York Times Top 10 Best Book of the Year An Economist Best Book of the Year The life of Urbain Martien—artist, soldier, survivor of World War I—lies contained in two notebooks he left behind when he died in 1981. In War and Turpentine, his grandson, a writer, retells his grandfather’s story, the notebooks providing a key to the locked chambers of Urbain’s memory. With vivid detail, the grandson recounts a whole life: Urbain as the child of a lowly church painter, retouching his father’s work;dodging death in a foundry; fighting in the war that altered the course of history; marrying the sister of the woman he truly loved; being haunted by an ever-present reminder of the artist he had hoped to be and the soldier he was forced to become. Wrestling with this tale, the grandson straddles past and present, searching for a way to understand his own part in both. As artfully rendered as a Renaissance fresco, War and Turpentine paints an extraordinary portrait of one man’s life and reveals how that life echoed down through the generations. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout)
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe

Author: Romain Puertolas
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0385352964
Pages: 320
Year: 2015-01-27
A charmingly exuberant comic debut from an exciting new literary voice, and a “quirky, hilarious, elegantly written farce” (The Daily Telegraph), The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe is the globetrotting story of a trickster from rural India and his adventure of a lifetime. When the fakir—a professional con artist—arrives in Paris, he has just one goal: to get to Ikea. Armed with only a counterfeit hundred-euro note in the pocket of his silk trousers, he is confident that he has all he needs to thrive. But his plan goes horribly awry when he hides inside a wardrobe at the iconic Swedish retailer—the first in a series of accidents that will send him on a whirlwind tour across Europe. Pursued across the continent by a swindled taxi driver dead set on revenge, our fakir soon finds unlikely friends—from movie stars to illegal immigrants—in even unlikelier places. And, much to his own surprise, his heart begins to open to those around him as he comes to understand the universal desire to seek a better life in an often dangerous world. Channeling the manic energy of the Marx Brothers and the biting social commentary of Candide, Romain Puértolas has crafted an unforgettable comic romp around Europe that is propelled by laughter, love, and, ultimately, redemption. (Meatballs not included but highly recommended.)
So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood

So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood

Author: Patrick Modiano
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544635078
Pages: 208
Year: 2015-09-15
“Modiano is an ideal writer to gorge on . . . A moody, delectable noir.” — The New Yorker “The best kind of mystery, the kind that never stops haunting you.” — Entertainment Weekly “A work of melancholic beauty . . . Sincere, shattering, magnificent.” — L’Express 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. This masterly novel penetrates the deepest enigmas of identity and compels us to ask whether we ever know who we truly are. “Moody . . . Lyrical . . . A pleasure.” — Kirkus Reviews “A writer unlike any other and a worthy recipient of the Nobel.” — Wall Street Journal
Such Fine Boys

Such Fine Boys

Author: Patrick Modiano
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 030023158X
Pages: 208
Year: 2017-08-29
Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano’s spellbinding tale of adolescent schoolmates and the vicissitudes of fate As a boarding school student in the early 1960s, Patrick Modiano lived among the troubled teenage sons of wealthy but self-involved parents. In this mesmerizing novel, Modiano weaves together a series of exquisitely crafted stories about such jettisoned boys at the exclusive Valvert School on the outskirts of Paris: abandoned children of privilege, left to create new family ties among themselves. Misfits and heroes, sports champions and good-hearted chums, the boys of Valvert misbehave, run away, get expelled, and engage in various forms of delinquency and disappearance. They emerge into adulthood tragically damaged, still tethered to their adolescent selves, powerless to escape the central loneliness of their lives in an ever-darkening spiral of self-delusion and grim consequence. A meditation on nostalgia, the pitfalls of privilege, and the vicissitudes of fate, this book fully demonstrates the powerful mix of sadness, mystery, wonder, and ominous danger that characterizes Modiano’s most rewarding fiction. Special feature: J. M. G. Le Clézio’s foreword, here in English for the first time, provides a rare and insightful appreciation of one Nobel laureate by another.
Young Once

Young Once

Author: Patrick Modiano
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590179560
Pages: 176
Year: 2016-03-08
AN NYRB CLASSICS ORIGINAL Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Young Once is a crucial book in the career of Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano. It was his breakthrough novel, in which he stripped away the difficulties of his earlier work and found a clear, mysteriously moving voice for his haunting stories of love, nostalgia, and grief. It has also been called “the most gripping Modiano book of all” (Der Spiegel). Odile and Louis are leading a happy, bucolic life with their two children in the French countryside near the Swiss mountains. It is Odile’s thirty-fifth birthday, and Louis’s thirty-fifth birthday is a few weeks away. Then the story shifts back to their early years: Louis, just freed from his military service and at loose ends, is taken up by a shady character who brings him to Paris to do some work for a friend who manages a garage; Odile, an aspiring singer, is at the mercy of the kindness and unkindness of strangers. In a Paris that is steeped in crime and full of secrets, they find each other and struggle together to create what, looking back, will have been their youth.
Sundays in August

Sundays in August

Author: Patrick Modiano
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300231598
Pages: 168
Year: 2017-08-29
From beloved storyteller and Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano, a masterful and gripping crime novel set in picturesque Nice on the French Riviera Stolen jewels, black markets, hired guns, crossed lovers, unregistered addresses, people gone missing, shadowy figures disappearing in crowds, newspaper stories uncomfortably close and getting closer . . . this ominous novel is Patrick Modiano’s most noirish work to date. Set in Nice—a departure from the author’s more familiar Paris—this novel evokes the bright sun and dark shadow of the Riviera. Modiano’s trademark ability to create a haunting atmosphere is here on full display: readers descend precipitously into a world of mystery, uneasiness, inevitability. A young couple in hiding keeps close watch over a notorious diamond necklace known as the Southern Cross. Its provenance is murky, its whereabouts known only to our hero and heroine, who find themselves trapped by its potential value—and its ultimate cost. Deftly Modiano reaches further and further into the past, revealing the secret histories of the two even as the pressurized present threatens to overwhelm them.
Literature Class, Berkeley 1980

Literature Class, Berkeley 1980

Author: Julio Cortázar
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
ISBN: 0811225356
Pages: 320
Year: 2017-03-28
A master class from the exhilarating writer Julio Cortázar “I want you to know that I’m not a critic or theorist, which means that in my work I look for solutions as problems arise.” So begins the first of eight classes that the great Argentine writer Julio Cortázar delivered at UC Berkeley in 1980. These “classes” are as much reflections on Cortázar’s own writing career as they are about literature and the historical moment in which he lived. Covering such topics as “the writer’s path” (“while my aesthetic world view made me admire writers like Borges, I was able to open my eyes to the language of street slang, lunfardo…”) and “the fantastic” (“unbeknownst to me, the fantastic had become as acceptable, as possible and real, as the fact of eating soup at eight o’clock in the evening”), Literature Class provides the warm and personal experience of sitting in a room with the great author. As Joaquin Marco stated in El Cultural, “exploring this course is to dive into Cortázar designing his own creations.… Essential for anyone reading or studying Cortázar, cronopio or not!”
In the Café of Lost Youth

In the Café of Lost Youth

Author: Patrick Modiano
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590179536
Pages: 118
Year: 2016
"Who was Louki? Did anyone really know? She made her mark on all of us in different ways. We all remember her, some of us more than others, but did any of us truly know her? Can anyone honestly say they know another person? In the Cafe of Lost Youth is vintage Patrick Modiano, an absorbing evocation of a particular Paris of the 1950s, shadowy and shady, a secret world of writers, criminals, drinkers, and drifters. The novel, which includes vignettes of a number of historical figures and is inspired in part by the circle (depicted in the photographs of Ed van der Elsken) of the notorious and charismatic Guy Debord, centers on the enigmatic, waiflike figure of Louki, who catches everyone's attention even as she eludes possession or comprehension. Through the eyes of four very different narrators, we contemplate Louki's character and her fate, while Modiano explores the themes of identity, memory, time, and forgetting that are at the heart of his hypnotic and deeply moving art"--
The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins

Author: Irvine Welsh
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0385539398
Pages: 368
Year: 2015-02-03
When Lucy Brennan, a Miami Beach personal-fitness trainer, disarms an apparently crazed gunman, the police and the breaking-news cameras are not far behind. Within hours, Lucy becomes a hero. The solitary eye-witness, the depressed and overweight Lena Sorenson, thrilled by Lucy's heroism and decisiveness, becomes obsessed with the trainer and enrolls as a client at her Bodysculpt gym. It quickly becomes clear that Lena is more interested in Lucy's body than her own, and a budding fatal attraction takes hold. However, it's when Lucy imprisons Lena, and can't stop thinking about the sex lives of Siamese twins, that the real problems start. In Lucy and Lena, Irvine Welsh has created two of his most memorable female protagonists, and one of the most bizarre, sadomasochistic folie à deux in contemporary fiction. The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins taps into two great obsessions of our time--how we look and where we live--and tells a story so subversive and dark it blacks out the Florida sun.
The Black Notebook

The Black Notebook

Author: Patrick Modiano
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544784162
Pages: 144
Year: 2016-09-27
A writer's notebook becomes the key that unlocks memories of a love formed and lost in 1960s Paris. In the aftermath of Algeria's war of independence, Paris was a city rife with suspicion and barely suppressed violence. Amid this tension, Jean, a young writer adrift, met and fell for Dannie, an enigmatic woman fleeing a troubled past. A half century later, with his old black notebook as a guide, he retraces this fateful period in his life, recounting how, through Dannie, he became mixed up with a group of unsavory characters connected by a shadowy crime. Soon Jean, too, was a person of interest to the detective pursuing their case--a detective who would prove instrumental in revealing Dannie's darkest secret. The Black Notebook bears all the hallmarks of this Nobel Prize–winning literary master's unsettling and intensely atmospheric style, rendered in English by acclaimed translator Mark Polizzotti (Suspended Sentences). Once again, Modiano invites us into his unique world, a Paris infused with melancholy, uncertain danger, and the fading echoes of lost love.