Another November

Another November

by Roger Grenier
     
 

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French writer Roger Grenier's stunning novel tells of a group of friends in the southwest of France whose lives are forever changed by the German Occupation. The moral failings of one of them, Charles Merlin, which at first seem trivial and personal, assume more sinister dimensions when he collaborates with the Nazis. The narrator of the novel, a member of the… See more details below

Overview

French writer Roger Grenier's stunning novel tells of a group of friends in the southwest of France whose lives are forever changed by the German Occupation. The moral failings of one of them, Charles Merlin, which at first seem trivial and personal, assume more sinister dimensions when he collaborates with the Nazis. The narrator of the novel, a member of the resistance, watches Charles's decline and gains a poignant education in his own failings as he tries to rescue the women in Charles' life. Roger Grenier, the author of 30 books of fiction and criticism, is known for his spare language and melancholy wit. For decades he has been a key figure in French letters. Alice Kaplan is a professor of Romance studies and literature at Duke University and the author, most recently, of French Lessons: A Memoir.

Editorial Reviews

William Ferguson
...[S]pare and elegant...a meditation on personal and political loyalties....appears to exist not because a thing can prove to be its opposite but because in the end there are no surprises.
The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in the decaying French resort town of Pau, this quiet, ascetic novel from the famed French writer tells the story of two men, a Nazi collaborator and the unnamed narrator whose life is bound up with his. At the novel's center is the Villa Rapallo, a splendid home of the wealthy Merline family, which the narrator first enters as a playmate for the family's only son, Charles. Overweight, cowardly and extravagantly spoiled, Charles nonetheless manages to attract friends and, later, beautiful women, who stand by him, no matter what his trespasses. Even the narrator, who views Charles with increasing jealousy and contempt, and who later engages in a long love affair with Charles's wife, never quite abandons him. When Charles wants to avoid obligatory work service in Germany, the narrator procures him false papers at great personal risk, only to discover that the Merlines have collaborated in exchange for Charles's freedom. Even so, the narrator remains in contact with Charles--who, following his postwar imprisonment, dissolves into a failed, dishonest businessman--and can't help regarding him, and the vanished elegance of the Villa Rapallo, with affection. Grenier tells his story through a series of distilled, delicately etched moments, which evoke a melancholy and profoundly nostalgic air while keeping us at a distance from the ghostly men and women who breathe it. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803221727
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Pages:
86
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.61(h) x 0.55(d)

What People are saying about this

Julian Evans
For all that is said about the novels of youth, conceived and written in hot youth, it is the irresistible heat of memories which creates a life. Another November is like a spell, full of underplayed memories, a short, sweet sermon on wartime love, loss, and uncertainty that will recall any modern reader to the business in hand: the business of getting on terms with everything we did, and everything our yearning, imperfect selves never quite pulled off.
Edmund White
Another November is about not so much the banality as the humble passivity of evil. The surface of this book that takes place during the German Occupation of France is limpid, insouciant; but the depths are troubled and troubling.

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