French Books USA: Week in Review
New Proust Biography Review in Kirkus
Benjamin Taylor's "densely packed and rewarding" Proust is a journey into the goings-on of the cork-lined room where the brilliant author labored relentlessly to write À la recherche du temps perdu. While Taylor situates Proust within the milieu of Parisian society, the biography is strongest when we catch glimpses of Proust alone and we observe the master at work in the night.
Indie publisher Nouvella launched a sort-of-reverse KickStarter to "shut down Nouvella" and burn their own titles. The tongue-in-cheek campaign to "save the great American novel" by destroying their pocket sized books has garnered quite a bit of attention. On the subject of destroyed books, a very rare first folio of Shakespeare's plays was recently discovered in France. Only the second official copy found in France, the book sat in a library near Calais for nearly 400 years without authentification as a possible result of a missing cover page.
Saucier's Latest in Publishers Weekly
"The Cardinals raised their 21 children in the mining community of Norcoville, Quebec and 30 years after their mine closed, they reunite at a mining conference where the Cardinal patriarch is being honored." Quite an opening pitch for a book, no? With a tightly wound narrative and masterful prose, Jocelyne Saucier crafts Twenty-One Cardinals into a layered story in which the numerous Cardinal children, now adults, come together after years of separation and fill in each other's missing pages.
The Second Sex in Guardian List
Alongside Marx, the scriptures, Shakespeare, Darwin, and more, de Beauvoir's The Second Sex was chosen by the Guardian to be one of ten books that shaped the world. As a book that has outlived many of the texts it directly influenced, de Beauvoir's ubiquitous treatise still carries the force of history and its demands are no less necessary today.
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