Young Once

Written by Patrick Modiano | Translated by Damion Searls | New York Review of Books | March 2016

An NYRB Classics Original.

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.

 

Praise

Modiano is a pure original. He has transformed the novel into a laboratory for producing atmospheres, not situations—where everything must be inferred and nothing can be proved.
—Adam Thirlwell, The Guardian

Like W.G. Sebald, another European writer haunted by memory and by the history that took place just before he was born, Modiano combines a detective’s curiosity with an elegist’s melancholy.
—Adam Kirsch, The New Republic

More information available on NYRB website.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

The Man Who Snapped His Fingers

Winner of the 2001 French Human Rights Prize, French-Iranian author Fariba Hachtroudi's English-language debut explores themes as old as time: the crushing effects of totalitarianism and the infinite power of love.
new titles

Surrealist texts

This book features 20 transformative texts by Gisèle Prassinos, one of Surrealism’s most gifted voices. The automatic writing process was used to write these fabulous texts. Prassino's strange poems are tainted with cruelty as some said, but most of all with caring innocence.
new titles

Give & Take

To play this game of opposites, press out a shape on each spread and turn the page to complete a new picture.
1/3
MORE IN books
authors on tour

Marie-Hélène/Sam Bourcier

November 5-17, 2016
US Tour
authors on tour

Pap Ndiaye

November 4-13, 2016
East Coast
authors on tour

Vinciane Despret

October 29-November 8, 2016
US Tour
authors on tour

Antoine Volodine

October 11-18, 2016
West Coast
event

Reconstructing Comix

October 8, 2016 | 7pm
Cooper Union
Frederick P. Rose Auditorium 41 Cooper Square, New York
1/3
recomended for you
event

Hervé Tullet at the BookFest @ Bank Street

October 22 | 10:15am
Bank Street College of Education
610 West 112th Street, New York NY, 10025
event

Reconstructing Comix

October 8, 2016 | 7pm
Cooper Union
Frederick P. Rose Auditorium 41 Cooper Square, New York