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by Henri Bosco, Joyce Zonana

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Fans of the style of William Faulkner will want to read Henri Bosco, four-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Available in English for the first time, Malicroix tells the story of a recluse living in the French countryside, unraveling how he came to a life of solitude.

Although relatively unknown today by readers of English, Henri Bosco (1888-1976) was a prolific, well-respected, and popular mid-twentieth century French writer. The author of over thirty volumes of fiction and poetry, he received the Grand prix national des lettres, the Grand prix de l'Academie francaise, and the Prix des Ambassadeurs. Malicroix, hailed as Bosco's "finest achievement" and praised for its "intimate blending of the real world and the world of myth" (F.W. Saunders), is extensively cited by Gaston Bachelard in his influential The Poetics of Space and The Poetics of Reverie. Bachelard calls Malicroix a "vast prose poem" and writes of returning again and again to this distinctive, haunting novel.

Set in the early nineteenth century, Malicroix is the first-person narrative of a diffident, provincial young man who inherits from a great-uncle a house on an island in the Rhone, in the desolate and wild Camargue region. In order to actually acquire the house, the young man must live alone in it for three months, coming to terms with the huge and turbulent river (always threatening to flood the island and the countryside), the wild wind (blowing fiercely around his tiny shelter), and his own unaccustomed solitude. He must also complete a challenging task set by his great-uncle and resist the efforts of others who are bent on acquiring the house and the land for themselves. The novel traces the narrator's experiences as he comes into full possession not only of his inheritance but, more importantly, of himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681374116
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 03/10/2020
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 286

About the Author

Henri Bosco (1888-1976) was a French writer who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times. His family was of Provencal, Ligurian, and Piedmontese origin, and much of his work focused on Provencal life.

Joyce Zonana is a writer and literary translator. She is the author of a memoir, Dream Homes: From Cairo to Katrina, an Exile's Journey, and her writing has been published in Hudson Review, Signs, and Meridians, among other publications. She received an ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship for her translation of Henri Bosco's Malicroix for NYRB Classics.