The Waitress Was New

( 2 )

Overview

Pierre is a veteran bartender in a café in the outskirts of Paris. He observes his customers as they come and go – the young man who drinks beer as he reads Primo Levi, the fellow who from time to time strips down and plunges into the nearby Seine, the few regulars who eat and drink there on credit – sizing them up with great accuracy and empathy. Pierre doesn’t look outside more than necessary; he prefers to let the world come to him. Soon, however, the café must close its doors, and Pierre finds himself at a ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (30) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $8.21   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
The Waitress Was New

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$15.00 List Price

Overview

Pierre is a veteran bartender in a café in the outskirts of Paris. He observes his customers as they come and go – the young man who drinks beer as he reads Primo Levi, the fellow who from time to time strips down and plunges into the nearby Seine, the few regulars who eat and drink there on credit – sizing them up with great accuracy and empathy. Pierre doesn’t look outside more than necessary; he prefers to let the world come to him. Soon, however, the café must close its doors, and Pierre finds himself at a loss. As we follow his stream of thoughts over three days, Pierre’s humanity and profound solitude both emerge. The Waitress Was New is a moving portrait of human anguish and weakness, of understated nobility and strength. Lire est un plaisir describes Dominique Fabre as a "magician of the everyday."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A tiny miracle like a perfect cup of coffee or just the right wine. . . . It’s a minor classic, a charming little book, a short account of ordinary goings-on in a French café that some highfalutin reader might call a deceptively detached exploration of the quotidian.  It’s the sort of book you can’t wait to find again, and for others to find it for the first time. —Daniel Handler (author of A Series of Unfortunate Events under pen name Lemony Snicket)

The strong, intimate voice of this gentle, canny narrator continues to stay with us long after we reach the end of The Waitress Was New—what an engrossing, captivating tale, in Jordan Stump’s sensitive translation. —Lydia Davis

For his U.S. debut, Fabre offers a poignantly funny, slender slice of a French waiter’s life . . . In his patient, deliberative layering, the details of Pierre’s quotidian life assume an affecting solidity and significance. —Publishers Weekly

Simply and elegantly captures the dignity of a day’s work, the humanity of friendship and the loneliness of aging. —Kirkus Reviews

A sweetly comic book, savored with tristesse, lightly renders feeling and profundity in the manner only the French can. —Reamy Jansen, Bloomsbury Review

Fabre becomes the lyrical, compassionate spectator of all these infinitesimal, silent lives—our lives—as they move between leaving the suburban underground station and arriving home. It is a tiny fragment of life, simply told and yet touching in the extreme. When Fabre writes, he ‘really believes in the possibility of showing you genuine beauty, genuine dignity and places or people that have been somehow overlooked.’ Mission accomplished. —French Book News

Publishers Weekly

For his U.S. debut, Fabre offers a poignantly funny, slender slice of a French waiter's life. Pierre, 56 and divorced, has worked at the suburban Parisian cafe Le Cercle for so long that he's become a fixture. He's a good listener, too, particularly to the boss's wife, heartbroken over her husband's seeming affair with the young head waitress, Sabrina. As a long shift unrolls, the boss and Sabrina are absent from the busy cafe, leaving Senegalese cook Amédée fuming and Pierre and the title's fill-in waitress scrambling. The next day brings big changes, and loyal, orderly Pierre must suddenly measure out his mortality by the pay stubs he has hoarded over his working life. In Fabre's patient, deliberative layering, the details of Pierre's quotidian life assume an affecting solidity and significance. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

For his U.S. debut, Fabre offers a poignantly funny, slender slice of a French waiter's life. Pierre, 56 and divorced, has worked at the suburban Parisian cafe Le Cercle for so long that he's become a fixture. He's a good listener, too, particularly to the boss's wife, heartbroken over her husband's seeming affair with the young head waitress, Sabrina. As a long shift unrolls, the boss and Sabrina are absent from the busy cafe, leaving Senegalese cook Amédée fuming and Pierre and the title's fill-in waitress scrambling. The next day brings big changes, and loyal, orderly Pierre must suddenly measure out his mortality by the pay stubs he has hoarded over his working life. In Fabre's patient, deliberative layering, the details of Pierre's quotidian life assume an affecting solidity and significance. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
After decades of listening to his patrons' life stories, a bartender shares his own in the first of French author Fabre's novels to be published in the United States. Pierre has been at Le Cercle, a cafe in the Parisian suburb of Asnieres, for eight years. Before that, the 56-year-old tended bar at several other places, fell in love a few times, married and divorced once. He now lives alone and sometimes wonders if he will ever have another woman. The conscientious worker has little time to dwell on private matters, however, because Sabrina, Le Cercle's waitress, is out sick with the flu. Henri, the cafe's owner, has hired a temporary waitress. When she arrives, Pierre is relieved to see that she is good at her job. Despite Sabrina's absence, the day will be just like other days, Pierre thinks. Then Pierre's boss slips out the back door and things get complicated. Henri's wife Isabelle believes he is having an affair with Sabrina; he has strayed before. But when Pierre borrows Isabelle's Audi to help resolve the crisis, he finds that Sabrina really is sick, and Henri is not there. With this low-key material, Fabre eloquently conveys the wisdom of a man forever in the background, observing the lives of others. When Isabella closes the cafe, Pierre is left wondering how much longer he will need to keep working before he can claim his pension. Simply and elegantly captures the dignity of a day's work, the humanity of friendship and the loneliness of aging.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780977857692
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 1/21/2008
  • Pages: 117
  • Sales rank: 792,448
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Dominique Fabre possesses a unique voice among contemporary French novelists. Focusing on the lives of individuals on the margins of society, his works combines somber, subdued realism with lyrical perception. In his own words, Fabre "believes in the possibility of showing you genuine beauty, genuine dignity and places or people that have been somehow overlooked." He has produced nine works of fiction over the last decade. In 1995 Maurice Nadeau published Fabre’s first novel, Moi aussi un jour j’irai loin, to much critical acclaim. His Fantômes (Serpent à plumes) received the Marcel Pagnol prize in 2001. The Waitress Was New is his first book to appear in English.

Jordan Stump received the 2001 French-American Foundation’s Translation Prize for his translation of Le Jardin des Plantes by Nobel Prize winner Claude Simon. In 2006, Stump was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has translated the work of Eric Chevillard, Marie Redonnet, Patrick Modiano, Honoré de Balzac, and Jules Verne, among others. He is a professor of French literature at the University of Nebraska.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The waitress was new here. She came out of the underpass and hurried down the sidewalk, very businesslike, keeping to herself, as tall as me even in flat-heeled shoes. Maybe forty years old? That’s not the kind of thing you can ask a lady. She had a sort of flesh-pink makeup on her eyelids, she must have spent a long time getting ready. I didn’t look too closely at her shoes, the way I usually do to size someone up, because I had a feeling she’d seen some rough times, and there was no point overdoing it. And I’ve seen some rough times too, I tell myself now and then, but I’m not even sure it’s true. The sky was all cloudy. Sometimes, on gray days like this, you can see why you’re here, in a café like Le Cercle. People come in to get out of the weather, they have a drink, and then they go on their way.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 1 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 1 of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)