Such Fine Boys

Written by Patrick Modiano | Translated by Mark Polizzotti
Yale University Press - August 2017
Translated by Mark Polizzotti
Foreword by J.M.G. Le Clézio

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.

About the author: Patrick Modiano

Internationally renowned author Patrick Modiano has received many prestigious literary awards, among them the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature. Mark Polizzotti is the translator of more than forty books from the French, including seven by Modiano. He directs the publications program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Publisher's website


"Could a generation be lost if they were never wanted in the first place? . . . [Such Fine Boys] gently indicts the duplicity and futility of an entire generation . . . J. M. G. Le Clezio, another French Nobel laureate, says it best in his foreword: 'This is at once the clearest, the purest, and the most complex' of Modiano's novels."- Michael Autrey, Booklist (starred review)

"There are few modern writers as pleasurable or interesting to read. Modiano is one of the great writers of our time."- David Herman, Jewish Chronicle

"Rarely do we have the opportunity to watch a major writer take shape before our eyes, as if his entire career were being replayed in fast forward. Not since the Roberto Bolano craze of the last decade have American readers seen anything like it" -Adam Kirsch, Daily Beast

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