Life Form

Life Form

by Amelie Nothomb
     
 

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One morning, Nothomb receives a letter from one of her readers, am American soldier called Melvin Mapple, who is fighting in Iraq. Horrified by the endless violence around him, he takes comfort in over-eating. Over-eating until his fat starts to suffocate him and he can barely fit into his XXXXL clothes. Disgusted with himself, but unable to control his eating, he

Overview

One morning, Nothomb receives a letter from one of her readers, am American soldier called Melvin Mapple, who is fighting in Iraq. Horrified by the endless violence around him, he takes comfort in over-eating. Over-eating until his fat starts to suffocate him and he can barely fit into his XXXXL clothes. Disgusted with himself, but unable to control his eating, he takes his mind off his ever-growing bulk by naming it Scheherazade and pretending that he is not alone at night with his flesh.

Although initially repulsed, Nothomb is fascinated and begins exchanging letters in earnest with Mapple.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Belgian author Nothomb receives a letter from 400 pound US Army private Melvin Mapple in December 2008. Normally she would ignore it, but something makes her respond. This ordinary beginning to Nothomb's first English release since Tokyo Fiancée quickly becomes a deep look at war, what it means to depend on another human being, and the nature of writing. Amelie hates long letters and hides from fan requests, but agrees to help Melvin commit weight-gaining "body art" as a protest to the war America is fighting. Over two years the two grow to depend on each other's letters to create a shared reality. All is well until Melvin disappears. Amelie worriedly searches and what she finds is a despairing man who has nothing "left to live for." Through an epistolary exchange punctuated by brief commentary, Nothomb presents two lonely figures enveloped in a world of letters. By the time Amelie, filled with self-doubt, ends up on a flight to Baltimore to meet Melvin in person, the reader joins her in asking what it is she's doing. Nothomb's story expands with Melvin's weight gain, taking on American military policy and even reality itself; but her greatest, most tragic creation is herself, and you will get on that plane with her.
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From the Publisher
"Amelie Nothomb is such an utter astonishment, the shock of reading her for the first time is like realizing you have inadvertently missed a whole movement, or century, in the scheme of things"
—Scotland on Sunday

"Her will-mannered prose, her clear and accomplished style, her aristocratic culture of a bygone day (Nothomb is the daughter of a Belgian diplomat)- perhaps this is why she has touched such a large audience in France, nostalgic for a time when French literature was preeminent among the arts and in the world"
—Boston Review

"Read Amelie Nothomb! It's a bit like opening a bag full of surprises."
—Le Globe-Lecteur

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609451073
Publisher:
Europa
Publication date:
02/05/2013
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
File size:
883 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"Amelie Nothomb is such an utter astonishment, the shock of reading her for the first time is like realizing you have inadvertently missed a whole movement, or century, in the scheme of things"
—Scotland on Sunday

"Her will-mannered prose, her clear and accomplished style, her aristocratic culture of a bygone day (Nothomb is the daughter of a Belgian diplomat)- perhaps this is why she has touched such a large audience in France, nostalgic for a time when French literature was preeminent among the arts and in the world"
—Boston Review

"Read Amelie Nothomb! It's a bit like opening a bag full of surprises."
—Le Globe-Lecteur

Meet the Author

Amelie Nothomb was born in Japan of Belgian parents in 1967. She lives in Paris. Amelie's books have been translated into over fifteen different languages and been awarded numerous prizes including Grand Prix Giono in 2008.

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