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Alison McCullochWhat Curiol, in this translation by Sam Richard, does so marvelously well is render this stream of thought and feeling into words on a page.
—The New York Times
In French journalist Curiol's mesmerizing debut novel, an unnamed young woman drifts, solitary and aimless, through contemporary Paris. She works as an announcer at a train station and is in love with a man who lives with another woman. Her longing to connect with others and dismaying inability to assert herself leaves the protagonist vulnerable to approaches by strangers with doubtful intentions, and she finds herself in a number of sordid and perilous encounters (a one-night stand with a transvestite, trouble with a drug dealer). The sparely plotted novel takes some surprising turns toward the end, as the protagonist and her beloved tentatively become involved, and she reveals to him the roots of her emotional fragility. The novel broods in a classically French way, and the bleak meanderings are beautifully wrought. The ending is, of course, a downer, but it's earned and powerful. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“With an extraordinary sense of the mechanisms of love and the empathy of a saint for the human race, Céline Curiol gives us the most original and the best new book of the year.”
— Marie Claire
“It is not just the lover’s obsession that keeps our attention . . . it is more a young woman’s rapport with the city, with Paris . . . and all the unexpected encounters we can make there.”
— Le Monde des livres