Blue Bay Palace
Author: Nathacha Appanah-Mouriquand
Sixteen-year-old Mauritian Maya falls in love with David, a man from a wealthy family who she hopes will be able to help her escape poverty, but everything falls apart when she learns that he has agreed to an arranged marriage.
"On a hot summer night in 1936 Olivia and Nora Atkins go for a stroll along the beach in Gaspé. They never return. When the body of one of them is washed ashore days later, the tiny community of Griffin Creek is electrified. The teenagers have been murdered. But by whom?"
Where We Going, Daddy?
Author: Jean-Louis Fournier
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Jean-Louis Fournier did not expect to have a disabled child. He certainly did not expect to have two. But that is precisely what happened to this wry French humorist, and his attempts to live and cope with his Mathieu and Thomas, both facing extremely debilitating physical and mental challenges, is the subject of this brave and heartbreaking book. Fournier recalls the life he imagined having with his sons—but his boys will never really grow up, and he mourns the loss of every memory he thought he’d have. Though a devoted father, he does not shy away from exploring the limits of his love, the countless times he is filled with frustration and disappointment with no relief in sight. Mathieu and Thomas can barely communicate, and each in turn repeats learned phrases, such as “Where we going, Daddy?” (a favorite in the car) in what feels to Fournier to be an eternal loop. In WhereWe Going, Daddy? Fournier reveals everything, and that is perhaps his most remarkable quality. He does not hide behind a mask of cliché, but gives voice to the darkness that comes with disability, and the rare moments of light. Through short, powerful vignettes Jean-Louis manages his grief with cynicism and humor. For parents of disabled children, this book will offer some relief from the courage they must garner every day, a chance to let down their guard, laugh at themselves, and embrace even the ugly emotions they feel. For the rest of us, it’s an unsettling and heartfelt glimpse into an otherwise unimaginable life.
Author: Jean-Paul Dubois
Meet Paul Blick: born in France (but not Paris); son of a car dealer; provincial sociology student-cum-theoretical revolutionary; briefly employed (by his father-in-law); married and soon to discover adultery and other satisfactions of a desperate househusband as consort of a high-flying wife who conquers the world as CEO of a Jacuzzi-manufacturing company. This not-so-extraordinary Frenchman is delivered to the not-so-extraordinary awareness of having arrived in middle age more a product of his times, his country, and blind chance than a creature of his own free will. Jean-Paul Dubois gives us a man whose life reflects the story – the mind and the heart – of a society coming belatedly, poignantly, and often hilariously to grips with the abiding pain and intermittent beauty of what living has become. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Plague and Cholera
Author: Patrick Deville
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Paris, May 1940. Nazi troops storm the city and at Le Bourget airport, on the last flight out, sits Dr Alexandre Yersin, his gaze politely turned away from his fellow passengers with their jewels sewn into their luggage. He is too old for the combat ahead, and besides he has already saved millions of lives. When he was the brilliant young protégé of Louis Pasteur, he focused his exceptional mind on a great medical conundrum: in 1894, on a Hong Kong hospital forecourt, he identified and vaccinated against bubonic plague, later named in his honour Yersinia pestis. Swiss by birth and trained in Germany and France, Yersin is the son of empiricism and endeavour; but he has a romantic hunger for adventure, fuelled by tales of Livingstone and Conrad, and sets sail for Asia. A true traveller of the century, he wishes to comprehend the universe. Medicine, agriculture, the engine of the new automobile, all must be opened up, examined and improved. Ceaselessly curious and courageous, Yersin stands, a lone genius,against a backdrop of world wars, pandemics, colonialism, progress and decadence. He is brought to vivid, thrilling life in Patrick Deville's captivating novel, which was a bestseller and shortlisted for every major literary award in France.
The Season of Shadows
Author: Leonora Miano
Publisher: French List
This powerful novel presents the early days of the transatlantic slave trade from a new perspective: that of the sub-Saharan population that became its first victims. Cameroonian novelist L�onora Miano presents a world on the brink of disappearing--a pre-colonial civilization with roots that stretch back for centuries. One day, a group of villagers find twelve of their people missing. Where have they gone? Who is responsible? A collective dream, troubling a group of mothers in a communal dwelling, may have some of the answers, as the women's missing sons call to them in terr∨ at the same time, a thick shadow settles over the huts, blocking out the light of day. It is the shadow of slavery, which will soon grow to blight the whole world. Miano renders this brutal story in deliberately strange, dreamlike prose, befitting a situation that is, on its face, all but impossible for the villagers to believe.
Author: Christopher Moore
Publisher: Harper Collins
“Christopher Moore is a very sick man, in the very best sense of that word.” —Carl Hiassen “[Moore’s novels] deftly blend surreal, occult, and even science-fiction doings with laugh-out-loud satire of contemporary culture.” —Washington Post “If there’s a funnier writer out there, step forward.” —Playboy Absolutely nothing is sacred to Christopher Moore. The phenomenally popular, New York Times bestselling satirist whom the Atlanta Journal-Constitution calls, “Stephen King with a whoopee cushion and a double-espresso imagination” has already lampooned Shakespeare, San Francisco vampires, marine biologists, Death…even Jesus Christ and Santa Claus! Now, in his latest masterpiece, Sacré Bleu, the immortal Moore takes on the Great French Masters. A magnificent “Comedy d’Art” from the author of Lamb, Fool, and Bite Me, Moore’s Sacré Bleu is part mystery, part history (sort of), part love story, and wholly hilarious as it follows a young baker-painter as he joins the dapper Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the supposed “suicide” of Vincent van Gogh.
Author: Emmanuelle Loyer
Academic, writer, figure of melancholy, aesthete – Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009) not only transformed his academic discipline, he also profoundly changed the way that we view ourselves and the world around us. In this award-winning biography, historian Emmanuelle Loyer recounts Lévi-Strauss’s childhood in an assimilated Jewish household, his promising student years as well as his first forays into political and intellectual movements. As a young professor in 1935 Lévi-Strauss left Paris for São Paulo to teach sociology. His rugged expeditions into the Brazilian hinterland, where he discovered the Amerindian Other, made him into an anthropologist. The racial laws of the Vichy regime would force him to leave France yet again, this time for the US in 1941, where he became Professor Claude L. Strauss, to avoid confusion with the jeans manufacturer. His return to France, after the war, ushered in the period during which he produced his greatest works: several decades of intense labour in which Lévi-Strauss reinvented anthropology, establishing it as a discipline that offered a new view on the world. In 1955, Tristes Tropiques offered indisputable proof of this the world over. During those years, Lévi-Strauss became something of a national monument, a celebrity intellectual in France. But he always claimed his perspective was a “view from afar,” enabling him to deliver incisive and subversive diagnoses of our waning modernity. Loyer’s outstanding biography tells the story of a true intellectual adventurer whose unforgettable voice invites us to rethink questions of the human and the meaning of progress. Lévi-Strauss was less of a modern than he was our own great and disquieted contemporary.
Author: Franz-Olivier Giesbert
A poignant memoir recalls the author's harrowing childhood growing up with his French mother and American father, a troubled World War II veteran who took out his frustrations and psychological turmoil in the habitual battering of his wife and young son. Reprint.
Poor Little Witch Girl
Author: Marie Desplechin, Gillian Rosner
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Eleven-year-old Verbena thinks her hereditary witchcraft is a curse that will keep her from having a normal life and marriage one day, but her mother and grandmother, who help tell the story, are eager to start her training.
Peyo, creator of The Smurfs, brings everybody's childhood fantasy to life in this charming graphic novel series! Benny Breakiron is an honest, polite little boy with an en exceptional quality: he possesses superhuman strength, can leap over huge distances, and can run unbelievably fast! This little kid packs quite a punch, and he devotes his play time to stopping crime and injustice. In this first volume, a new taxi service has moved into Benny's town threatening to put Benny's friend, taxi driver Mr. Dussiflard, out of business. The more Benny learns about the Red Taxi Company, the more he realizes something isn't right. Who's behind this mysterious enterprise, and just what are they up to? Benny aims to find out and put a stop to it once and for all, and hopefully keep the property damage to a minimum!
Blue White Red
Author: Alain Mabanckou
Publisher: Indiana University Press
This tale of wild adventure reveals the dashed hopes of Africans living between worlds. When Moki returns to his village from France wearing designer clothes and affecting all the manners of a Frenchman, Massala-Massala, who lives the life of a humble peanut farmer after giving up his studies, begins to dream of following in Moki’s footsteps. Together, the two take wing for Paris, where Massala-Massala finds himself a part of an underworld of out-of-work undocumented immigrants. After a botched attempt to sell metro passes purchased with a stolen checkbook, he winds up in jail and is deported. Blue White Red is a novel of postcolonial Africa where young people born into poverty dream of making it big in the cities of their former colonial masters. Alain Mabanckou's searing commentary on the lives of Africans in France is cut with the parody of African villagers who boast of a son in the country of Digol.
The only optician on the island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean is an ordinary man in his fifties, who used to be indifferent to the fate of the thousands of refugees landing on the coast of the Italian island. One day in the fall of 2013, the unimaginable scale of the tragedy became clear to him, and it changed him forever: as he was out boating with some friends, he encountered hundreds of men, women and children drowning in the aftermath of a shipwreck. The Optician and his seven friends managed to save 47 people (his boat was designed to hold ten people). All the others died. This is a poignant and unforgettable account about the awakening of conscience: more than that, it brings home the reality of an ongoing refugee crisis that has resulted in one of the most massive migrations in human history. More than 360 people died in the disaster off the coast of Lampedusa on October 3, 2013. The original interview with Carmine Menna, the basis for this book, can be heard at http://bit.ly/optlamp
Alain Mabanckou left Congo in 1989, at the age of twenty-two, not to return until a quarter of a century later. When he finally came back to Pointe-Noire, a bustling port town on Congo’s southeastern coast, he found a country that in some ways had changed beyond recognition: the cinema where, as a child, Mabanckou gorged on glamorous American culture had become a Pentecostal temple, and his secondary school has been renamed in honor of a previously despised colonial ruler. But many things remain unchanged, not least the swirling mythology of Congolese culture that still informs everyday life in Pointe-Noire. Now a decorated writer and an esteemed professor at UCLA, Mabanckou finds he can only look on as an outsider in the place where he grew up. As he delves into his childhood, into the life of his departed mother, and into the strange mix of belonging and absence that informs his return to Congo, his work recalls the writing of V.S. Naipaul and André Aciman, offering a startlingly fresh perspective on the pain of exile, the ghosts of memory, and the paths we take back home.
Maigret and the Madwoman
Author: Georges Simenon, Eileen Ellenbogen
Publisher: Harvest Books
"Simenon created one of the great moral detectives . . .a master of the slow unfolding of the criminal mind."-JOHN MORT I M E R Someone is moving a kind old woman's furniture while she is away, but by the time Maigret investigates, she is dead. A kind, elderly lady-meticulously groomed and showing no signs of derangement-appeals to Inspector Maigret, frightened because someone has been moving furniture in her apartment. Nothing, however, has been stolen, and Maigret's subordinates at Police Headquarters shrug her off as "Maigret's madwoman." Touched by the imploring look in her eyes, Maigret promises to investigate-but someone gets there ahead of him. "Simenon is . . . in a class by himself."-T H E N E W YO R K E R G eorges Simenon (1903-1989) was born in Liege, Belgium. He published his first novel at seventeen and went on to write more than two hundred novels, becoming one of the world's most prolific and bestselling authors. His books have sold more than 500 million copies and have been translated into fifty languages. Maigret is a registered trademark of the Estate of Georges Simenon