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Mood Indigo

Boris Vian translated by Stanley Chapman

The story is simple: Boy meets girl; boy marries girl; girl falls ill on their honeymoon with a water lily on the lung, which can only be treated by being surrounded by flowers; boy goes broke desperately trying to keep his true love alive.

First published in 1947, Mood Indigo perfectly captures the feverishly creative, melancholy romance of mid-century Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Recently voted number ten on Le Monde’s list of the 100 Books of the Century (the top ten also included works by Camus, Proust, Kafka, Hemingway, and Steinbeck), Boris Vian’s novel has been an icon of French literature for fifty years—the avant-garde, populist masterpiece by one of twentieth-century Paris’s most intriguing cultural figures, a touchstone for generations of revolutionary young people, a jazz-fueled, science-fiction-infused, sexy, fantastical, nouveau-decadent tear-jerker that has charmed and beguiled hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. With the help of Michel Gondry and Audrey Tautou, it is set to seduce many, many more.

Mood Indigo is the basis of the new major movie from Michel Gondry, starring Audrey Tautou, the beloved French modern classic hailed as “the most poignant love story of our time” by Raymond Queneau.