Jean Giono (1895-1970) is the author of The Man Who Planted Trees, Angelo (Harvill, 1998), and The Horseman on the Roof (NPP, 1996).
Library Journal - Library JournalFirst published in France in 1930, this is a novel of rare charm and magic--a poignant love story, masterfully told. Panturle, the young man at the center of the story, lives a very simple life alone in the Proven al uplands, a place that appears almost untouched by history. A hunter and trapper, he asks for very little of life, but when spring comes, he finds himself suddenly yearning for companionship and love. Arsule, a vagabond who drifts into town with a theatrical performer and is abandoned, is the young woman he comes to love. The life they build together in the deserted farming village of Aubignane is full of simple pastoral pleasures exquisitely rendered by Giono. Although American readers will no doubt need to be patient as they acclimate to Giono's style and fictional world, their patience will be richly rewarded. An enchanting novel, enthusiastically recommended.--Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community-Technical Coll., CT Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
New York Times Book Review"Giono's sensuous eye for detail, his fine insight into human behavior, and the scope and resonance of his language transform every landscape, every encounter between his characters into an intimate, almost physical experience." The New York Times
Kirkus ReviewsA seductive story of grief and love by the incomparable Giono (1895�1970), originally published in France in 1930 and now reissued in a splendid new illustrated edition. Giono (The Man Who Planted Trees, Horseman on the Roof, etc.), like many Provençals, was a Frenchman of Italian descent, and his tales take place mainly among the shadows of the forgotten, half-deserted villages of Provence. Here he brings us into the overgrown thickets of Aubignane, nearly a ghost town with only three inhabitants: Gaubert, the blacksmith; the widow Mamèche; and the solitary farmer Panturle. Mamèche lost her husband in a well-digging accident shortly before her son was born; three years later the boy ate hemlock by mistake and died. Eventually Mamèche leaves, to forget her sorrows. Gaubert also moves on: At 80, he's too old to look after himself, so he goes to pass his final years with his son in a neighboring village. For a long time Panturle is the only one left in Aubignane, a giant man living among the cats and goats of his farm, hunting foxes and game amid the fallow pastures and keeping house for himself like a hermit. One day, however, he falls into a stream while hunting and is fished out by Arsule, a young woman traveling through the area with Gédémus, the itinerant knife-grinder. Having saved Panturle from drowning, Arsule takes him home and nurses him to health. It's easy for her to stay on, since she grew up in an acting troupe and has no home of her own, and she and Panturle fall in love. Arsule transforms Panturle's hut into a real home, and soon other families settle in the region. Aubignane becomes a town once morea collection ofhomes and children rather than houses and lands. With magical prose narrating a fairy tale of real depth, this deserves to be considered a literary classic.
- Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.11(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.57(d)
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Henry MillerGiono gives us the world we live in, a world of dream, passion, and reality.
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