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Overview

A lonely young woman works as an announcer in Paris's gare du Nord train station. Obsessed with a man attached to another woman, she wanders through the world of dinner parties, shopping excursions, and chance sexual encounters with a sense of haunting expectation. As something begins to happen between her and the man she loves, she finds herself at a crossroads, pitting her desire against her sanity. This smashing debut novel sparkles with mordant humor and sexy charm. ...
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Overview

A lonely young woman works as an announcer in Paris's gare du Nord train station. Obsessed with a man attached to another woman, she wanders through the world of dinner parties, shopping excursions, and chance sexual encounters with a sense of haunting expectation. As something begins to happen between her and the man she loves, she finds herself at a crossroads, pitting her desire against her sanity. This smashing debut novel sparkles with mordant humor and sexy charm.
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Editorial Reviews

Alison McCulloch
What 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
Publishers Weekly

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.)

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From the Publisher
“Not only is it the finest first novel I have read in many years, but it is, quite simply, one of the most original and brilliantly executed works of fiction by any contemporary writer I know of.”
— Paul Auster

“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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583228487
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

CÉLINE CURIOL is a journalist who has worked for various French media, including Libération, Radio France, and BBC Afrique. Her second novel and a travel book on Sierra Leone have recently been published in France. Originally from Lyon, Curiol lives in New York City, where she is at work on her third novel.
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