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LIFE S T YLE – BOOK S THESE BOOKS, RECENTLY PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH, WERE SELECTED BY THE FRENCH INSTITUTE

THE END OF EDDY

THE GREAT AND THE GOOD

by Edouard

by Michel

Louis Published by Michael Lucey Translated by Harvill Secker Original title: En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule (2014)

Déon

Published by Gallic

Books Evans Original title: La cour des grands (1996) Translated by Julian

‘Before I had a chance to rebel against the world of my childhood,

From the acclaimed author of The Foundling Boy comes this new

that world rebelled against me. In truth, confronting my parents,

classic set in 1950s America.

my social class, its poverty, racism and brutality came second. From

Arthur Morgan is aboard the Queen Mary bound for New York

early on I provoked shame and even disgust from my family and

City, where a scholarship at an Ivy League university awaits him,

others around me. The only option I had was to get away somehow.

along with the promise of a glittering future. He comes across

This book is an effort to understand all that.’

gilded youth, the rich and eccentric, and is even invited to the

Edouard Louis grew up in Hallencourt, a village in northern

White House. He succeeds in meeting the great and the good.

France where many live below the poverty line. His bestselling

But the few days spent on the ship will have a defining effect on

debut novel about life there, The End of Eddy, has sparked debate

the young Frenchman, when he encounters the love of his life,

on social inequality, sexuality and violence. It is an extraordinary

and the repercussions of these unfulfilled desires and love will

portrait of escaping from an unbearable childhood, inspired by

resurface long after Arthur has returned to France.

the author’s own. Written with an openness and compassionate

Born in Paris in 1919, the author Michel Déon is a member of

intelligence, ultimately, it asks, how can we create our own

the Académie française and the author of more than 50 works.

freedom? I

He now lives in Ireland. I

SORROW OF THE EARTH by Eric

EVE OUT OF HER RUINS

Vuillard

Published by Pushkin

Press Jefferson Original title: Tristesse de la terre: Une histoire de Buffalo Bill Cody (1914)

by Ananda

Devi Published by Les Fugitives Translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman Original title: Eve de ses décombres (1996)

Translated by Ann

Buffalo Bill was the prince of show business. His spectacular Wild Published in co-edition with CB Editions and, in the US, by Deep

West shows were performed to packed houses across the world,

Vellum in September 2016, this book is supported by the French

holding audiences spellbound with their grand re-enactments

Institute (UK) as part of the Burgess programme.

of tales from the American frontier. For Bill gave the crowds

With brutal honesty and poetic urgency, Ananda Devi relates the

something they'd never seen before: real-life Indians.

tale of four young Mauritians trapped in their country’s endless

This astonishing work of historical re-imagining tells the little-

cycle of fear and violence: Eve, whose body is her only weapon

known story of the Native Americans swallowed up by Buffalo Bill's

and source of power; Savita, Eve’s best friend, the only one who

great entertainment machine. Of Chief Sitting Bull, paraded in

loves Eve without self-interest, who has plans to leave but will not

theatres to boos and catcalls for $50 a week. Of a baby Lakota girl,

go alone; Saadiq, gifted would-be poet, inspired by Rimbaud, in

found under her mother's frozen body, adopted and displayed

love with Eve; Clélio, belligerent rebel, waiting without hope for

on the stage. Of the last few survivors of Wounded Knee, hired

his brother to send for him from France.

to act out the horrific massacre of their tribe as entertainment.

Eve Out of Her Ruins is a heartbreaking look at the dark corners

And of Buffalo Bill Cody himself, hamming it to the last, even as it

of the island nation of Mauritius that tourists never see, and a

consumed him.

poignant exploration of lives at the margins of society. Published

Told with beauty, compassion and anger, Sorrow of the Earth

in the UK for the first time, this celebrated novel won the 2006

shows us tragedy turned into a circus act, history into sham, truth

Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie. I

into a spectacle more powerful than reality itself. Could any of us turn away? I

54 - info - january / february 2017

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