The Foundling Boy by Michel Deon, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Foundling Boy

The Foundling Boy

by Michel Deon
     
 

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"He takes the world which died between the wars and patiently dissects it for us."—Le Magazine Littéraire

"An imaginative adventure that is both captivating and moving."—Pierre Moustiers

"A welcome addition to the literature of the inter-war period."—Le Monde

The classic coming-of-age novel translated into English for the

Overview

"He takes the world which died between the wars and patiently dissects it for us."—Le Magazine Littéraire

"An imaginative adventure that is both captivating and moving."—Pierre Moustiers

"A welcome addition to the literature of the inter-war period."—Le Monde

The classic coming-of-age novel translated into English for the first time.

It is 1919. On a summer's night in Normandy, a newborn baby is left in a basket outside the home of Albert and Jeanne Arnaud. The childless couple take the foundling in, name him Jean, and decide to raise him as their own, though his parentage remains a mystery.

Though Jean's life is never dull, he grows up knowing little of what lies beyond his local area. Until the day he sets off on his bicycle to discover the world, and encounters a Europe on the threshold of interesting times . . .

Michel Déon has published more than fifty works. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Prix Interallié for his 1970 novel Les Poneys Sauvages (The Wild Ponies). His 1973 novel Un Taxi Mauve garnered him international renown when it received the esteemed Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française. His novels have been translated into many languages. He is considered one of the most innovative French writers of the twenty-first century. Déon is one of just forty members of the Académie française who are elected by their peers to serve for life. Déon lives in Ireland with his wife and their horses.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Diane Johnson
Michel Déon's 1975 novel…is a bildungsroman, an account of a naíve young person's education and the formation of his character, in this case inspired by Henry Fielding's 18th-century novel Tom Jones, about a similarly clueless but likable character making his way on the road of life. As witty as its English forebear but with French savoir-faire, The Foundling Boy…as with all such accounts…appeals to our inner orphan, the sense we have that we are alone and have a lot to learn. Also like Tom Jones, it's funny.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-20
Only the second novel by this distinguished French writer to be translated into English: An affectionate slice of provincial life captures the coming of age of a 20th-century soul. Déon, now 94 years old, is the author of some 50 works and an "immortel" (a member of the Académie Française). He published his saga of the shaping of a young man between the two world wars—a rich if discursive immersion into Europe's changing landscape—in 1975. The eponymous boy, named Jean by the couple who takes him in, grows up in a simple but honest home in Normandy, makes important friends and one or two enemies in the local community, and develops a set of values that will lend him stability when he leaves home on some eventful journeys. In 1936, at age 17, he travels to Italy, meeting en route a friendly Hitler Youth, a fascist Italian truck driver, a beguiling fraudster and a voracious female restaurateur. Other trips are similar voyages of discovery in a serendipitous education encompassing friendship, culture, morality and plenty of sex. Brightly descriptive, especially of the high life (characters are frequently seduced by glamorous motors cars: Bugattis, Hispano-Suizas, Bentleys), blessed with wit and a wryly intrusive authorial voice—though shadowed by memories of the Great War and intimations of the horrors to come—Déon's spry, bittersweet ramble invites nostalgia for a lost era. A sequel will follow. Mature, relaxed storytelling, balancing human nature with historical inevitability; a pleasure for traditionalists generally and Francophiles in particular.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781908313560
Publisher:
Gallic Books Limited
Publication date:
04/15/2014
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
756,673
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author


Michel Déon has published over fifty works. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Prix Interallié for his 1970 novel, Les Poneys Sauvages (The Wild Ponies). His 1973 novel, Un Taxi Mauve garnered him international renown when it received the esteemed title of the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française.

His novels have been translated into numerous languages. He is considered one of the most innovative French writers of the 21st century. A member of the Académie française, Déon is one of just forty members who are elected by their peers to serve for life.

Michel Déon lives in Ireland with his wife and their numerous horses.

Julian Evans grew up in Australia and London in the 1960s. He is a writer and translator.
He has written and presented radio and television documentaries and writes for English and French newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, Prospect, Times Literary Supplement and L’Atelier du Roman. He is a recipient of the Prix du Rayonnement de la Langue Française from the Académie Française.

He currently lives in London with his wife and their two children.

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