French Novel and Short Story
Irene
Irene
Paperback      ISBN: 1623656648

Camille Verhoeven, whose diminutive stature belies his fierce intensity, has reached an unusually content (for him) place in life. he is respected by his colleagues and he and his lovely wife, Irene, are expecting their first child.
But when a new murder case hits his desk--a double torture-homicide that's so extreme that even the most seasoned officers are horrified-Verhoeven is overcome with a sense of foreboding.
As links emerge between the bloody set-piece and at least one past unsolved murder, it becomes clear that a calculating serial killer is at work. The press has a field day, taking particular pleasure in putting Verhoeven under the media spotlight (and revealing uncomfortable details of his personal life).
Then Verhoeven makes a breakthrough discovery: the murders are modeled after the exploits of serial killers from classic works of crime fiction. The double murder was an exquisitely detailed replication of a scene from Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, and one of the linked cold cases was a faithful homage to James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia.
The media circus reaches a fever pitch when the modus operandi of the killer, dubbed "The Novelist," is revealed. Worse, the Novelist has taken to writing taunting letters to the police, emphasizing that he will stop leaving any clues behind unless Verhoeven remains on the case.
For reasons known only to the killer, the case has become personal. With more literature--inspired murders surfacing, Verhoeven enlists the help of an eccentric bookseller and a professor specializing in crime fiction to try to anticipate his adversary's next move. Then Irene is kidnapped.
With time running out, Verhoeven realizes that all along he's been the unwitting dupe in The Novelist's plans to create an original work of his own. Now, the only person in the world the commandant truly cares for is in danger, and a happy ending seems less and less likely as it becomes clear that the winner of this deadly game may be the man with the least to lose.

Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp
Lost Time
Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp
Paperback      ISBN: 1681372584
The first translation of painter and writer J zef Czapski's inspiring lectures on Proust, first delivered in a prison camp in the Soviet Union during World War II.

During the Second World War, as a prisoner of war in a Soviet camp, and with nothing but memory to go on, the Polish artist and soldier J zef Czapski brought Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time to life for an audience of prison inmates. In a series of lectures, Czapski described the arc and import of Proust's masterpiece, sketched major and minor characters in striking detail, and movingly evoked the work's originality, depth, and beauty. Eric Karpeles has translated this brilliant and ­altogether unparalleled feat of the critical imagination into English for the first time, and in a thoughtful introduction he brings out how, in reckoning with Proust's great meditation on memory, Czapski helped his fellow officers to remember that there was a world apart from the world of the camp. Proust had staked the art of the novelist against the losses of a lifetime and the imminence of death. Recalling that triumphant wager, unfolding, like Sheherazade, the intricacies of Proust's world night after night, Czapski showed to men at the end of their tether that the past remained present and there was a future in which to hope.
Dangerous Liaisons
Dangerous Liaisons
Paperback      ISBN: 0140449574
A new translation of one of the most notorious novels of all time

Published just years before the French Revolution, Laclos's great novel of moral and emotional depravity is a disturbing and ultimately damning portrayal of a decadent society. Aristocrats and ex-lovers Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont embark on a sophisticated game of seduction and manipulation to bring amusement to their jaded lives. While Merteuil challenges Valmont to seduce an innocent convent girl, he is also occupied with the conquest of a virtuous married woman. Eventually their human pawns respond, and the consequences prove to be more serious--and deadly--than the players could have ever predicted.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Free Day
Free Day
Paperback      ISBN: 1681373580
A haunting and powerful portrait of a young French girl, and her desire to escape the world in which she is born, without losing her identity

In the marshy countryside of southwestern France, fourteen-year-old Galla rides her battered bicycle twenty miles, twice a month, from the high school she attends on scholarship back to her family's rocky, barren farm. Galla's loving, overwhelmed mother would prefer she stay at home, where Galla can look after her neglected little sisters and defuse her father's brutal rages. What does this dutiful daughter owe her family, and what does she owe her own ambition? In In s Cagnati's haunting and visually powerful novel Free Day, winner of the 1973 Prix Roger Nimier, Galla makes an extra journey one frigid winter Saturday to surprise her mother. As she anticipates their reunion, she mentally retraces the crooked path of her family's past and the more recent map of her school life as a poor but proud student. Galla's dense interior monologue blends with the landscape around her, building a powerful portrait of a girl who yearns to liberate herself from the circumstances that confine her, without losing their ties to her heart.
The Memoirs of Two Young Wives
The Memoirs of Two Young Wives
Paperback      ISBN: 1681371251

Two very intelligent, very idealistic young women leave the convent school where they became the fastest of friends to return to their families and embark on their new lives. For Ren e de Maucombe, this means an arranged marriage with a country gentleman of Provence, a fine if slightly dull man for whom she feels admiration but nothing more. Meanwhile, Louise de Chaulieu makes for her family's house in Paris, intent on enjoying her freedom to the fullest: glittering balls, the opera, and above all, she devoutly hopes, the torments and ecstasies of true love and passion. What will come of these very different lives?

Despite Honor de Balzac's title, these aren't memoirs; rather, this is an epistolary novel. For some ten years, these two will--enthusiastically if not always faithfully--keep up their correspondence, obeying their vow to tell each other every tiny detail of their strange new lives, comparing their destinies, defending and sometimes bemoaning their choices, detailing the many changes, personal and social, that they undergo. As Balzac writes, "Ren e is reason...Louise is wildness...and both will lose." Balzac being Balzac, he seems to argue for the virtues of one of these lives over the other; but Balzac being Balzac, that argument remains profoundly ambiguous. "I would," he once wrote, "rather be killed by Louise than live a long life with Ren e."
The Unknown Masterpiece
The Unknown Masterpiece
Paperback      ISBN: 0940322749

A New York Review Books Original

One of Honor de Balzac's most celebrated tales, "The Unknown Masterpiece" is the story of a painter who, depending on one's perspective, is either an abject failure or a transcendental genius--or both. The story, which has served as an inspiration to artists as various as C zanne, Henry James, Picasso, and New Wave director Jacques Rivette, is, in critic Dore Ashton's words, a "fable of modern art."

Published here in a new translation by poet Richard Howard, "The Unknown Masterpiece" appears, as Balzac intended, with "Gambara," a grotesque and tragic novella about a musician undone by his dreams.
My Friends
My Friends
Paperback      ISBN: 1681373130
Bove's tale of a World War I veteran living in postwar Paris, searching for friendship and warmth, is an ironic, entertaining masterpiece by one of France's favorite authors.

My Friends is Emmanuel Bove's first and most famous book, and it begins simply, though unusually, enough: "When I wake up, my mouth is open. My teeth are furry: it would be better to brush them in the evening, but I am never brave enough." Victor Baton is speaking, and he is a classic little man, of no talent or distinction or importance and with no illusions that he has any of those things, either; in fact, if he is exceptional, it is that life's most basic transactions seem to confound him more than they do the rest of us. All Victor wants is to be loved, all he wants is a friend, and as he strays through the streets of Paris in search of love or friendship or some fleeting connection, we laugh both at Victor's meekness and at his odd pride, but we feel with him, too. Victor is after all a kind of everyman, the indomitable knight of human fragility. And, in spite of everything, he, or at least his creator, is some kind of genius, investing the back streets and rented rooms of the city and the unsorted moments of daily life with a weird and unforgettable clarity.
Les Misérables
Les Misérables
Paperback      ISBN: 0812974263
Translated by Julie Rose
Introduction by Adam Gopnik

In this major new rendition by the acclaimed translator Julie Rose, Victor Hugo's Les Mis rables is revealed in its full, unabridged glory. A favorite of readers for nearly 150 years, this stirring tale of crime, punishment, justice, and redemption pulses with life. Featuring such unforgettable characters as the quintessential prisoner of conscience Jean Valjean, the relentless police detective Javert, and the tragic prostitute Fantine and her innocent daughter, Cosette, Hugo's epic novel sweeps readers from the French provinces to the back alleys of Paris, and from the battlefield of Waterloo to the bloody ramparts of Paris during the uprising of 1832. With an Introduction by Adam Gopnik, this Modern Library edition is an outstanding translation of a masterpiece that continues to astonish and entertain readers around the world.
Count D'Orgel's Ball
Count D'Orgel's Ball
Paperback      ISBN: 1590171381

Count d'Orgel is handsome, charming, and carefree, a model of cool aristocratic aplomb. His wife, the Countess, is beautiful and pure and loves her husband more than anything in the world. But from the moment the d'Orgels meet and befriend the clever young Fran ois de S ryeuse backstage at the circus, all three of these supremely civilized and witty people are caught up in an ever more intricate and seductive dance of deception and self-deception. At Count d'Orgel's masquerade ball, the real disguises are those of the human heart.

Completed just before Raymond Radiguet's death at the age of twenty, Count d'Orgel's Ball is a love story that is as disturbing as it is delicious.
Paris Vagabond
Paris Vagabond
Paperback      ISBN: 1590179579

An NYRB Classics Original

Jean-Paul Cl bert was a boy from a respectable middle-class family who ran away from school, joined the French Resistance, and never looked back. Making his way to Paris at the end of World War II, Cl bert took to living on the streets, and in Paris Vagabond, a so-called "aleatory novel" assembled out of sketches he jotted down at the time, he tells what it was like. His "gallery of faces and cityscapes on the road to extinction" is an astonishing depiction of a world apart--a Paris, long since vanished, of the poor, the criminal, and the outcast--and a no less astonishing feat of literary improvisation: Its long looping breathless sentences, streetwise, profane, lyrical, incantatory, are an adventure in their own right. Praised on publication by the great novelist and poet Blaise Cendrars and embraced by the young Situationists as a kind of manual for living off the grid, Paris Vagabond--here published with the starkly striking photographs of Cl bert's friend Patrice Molinard--is a raw and celebratory evocation of the life of a city and the underside of life.