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Dana GioiaA forgotten masterpiece, often plagiarized, but never equaled.
—The Hungry Mind Review
— Evan S. Connell, Jr.
“One of the last century’s great novels.”
— A Commonplace Blog
“When the literary history of the second millennium is written at the end of the third, in the category of dazzling American short fiction (Janet Lewis’s) Wife of Martin Guerre will be regarded as the 20th century's Billy Budd and Janet Lewis will be ranked with Herman Melville.”
— The New York Times
“Flaubertian in the elegance of its form and the gravity of its style.”
— The New Yorker
“A masterpiece…a short novel that can run with Billy Budd, The Spoils of Poynton, Seize the Day, or any other.”
— Larry McMurtry, The New York Review of Books
“Janet Lewis brings the haunting qualities of fable to this novella, based on a legal case that attracted wide attention in 16th-century France and has continued to fascinate down through the years.”
— Ron Hansen, The Wall Street Journal
“One of the most significant short novels in English.”
— Atlantic Monthly
Posted December 10, 2005
This retelling of an actual 12th century French court case was made into a well respected movie. A book group reading of it offered one of the best discusssions in the 20+ years of book group selctions. It ranks with the Nobel winning Saramagu's book 'Blindness' for a timeless story of personal and societal conflict. The conflict between truth, brutality, justice, gender, fidelity is not easily settled. The discussion that results is deep and endless.
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