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Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas
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Yale University Press 2014
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Description

A trio of intertwined novellas from the 2014 Nobel laureate for literature
In this essential trilogy of novellas by the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, French author Patrick Modiano reaches back in time, opening the corridors of memory and exploring the mysteries to be encountered there. Each novella in the volume—Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin—represents a sterling example of the author's originality and appeal, while Mark Polizzotti's superb English-language translations capture not only Modiano's distinctive narrative voice but also the matchless grace and spare beauty of his prose.
Although originally published separately, Modiano's three novellas form a single, compelling whole, haunted by the same gauzy sense of place and characters. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography of a place. Orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends, enigmatic strangers—each appears in this three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists.
Shadowed by the dark period of the Nazi Occupation, these novellas reveal Modiano's fascination with the lost, obscure, or mysterious: a young person's confusion over adult behavior; the repercussions of a chance encounter; the search for a missing father; the aftershock of a fatal affair. To read Modiano's trilogy is to enter his world of uncertainties and the almost accidental way in which people find their fates.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/11/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780300213379
ASIN:
B00OBL1L84
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Patrick Modiano. (2014). Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas. Yale University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Patrick Modiano. 2014. Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas. Yale University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Patrick Modiano, Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas. Yale University Press, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Patrick Modiano. Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas. Yale University Press, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Patrick Modiano is a best-selling novelist and the winner of some of the most prestigious literary awards in France, including the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca for lifetime achievement. In 2014 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for "the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation."

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        Mark Polizzotti has translated more than forty books from the French and is director of the publications program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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shortDescription

A trio of intertwined novellas from the 2014 Nobel laureate for literature
In this essential trilogy of novellas by the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, French author Patrick Modiano reaches back in time, opening the corridors of memory and exploring the mysteries to be encountered there. Each novella in the volume—Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin—represents a sterling example of the author's originality and appeal, while Mark Polizzotti's superb English-language translations capture not only Modiano's distinctive narrative voice but also the matchless grace and spare beauty of his prose.
Although originally published separately, Modiano's three novellas form a single, compelling whole, haunted by the same gauzy sense of place and characters. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography...

isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Suspended Sentences
fullDescription

A trio of intertwined novellas from the 2014 Nobel laureate for literature
In this essential trilogy of novellas by the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, French author Patrick Modiano reaches back in time, opening the corridors of memory and exploring the mysteries to be encountered there. Each novella in the volume—Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin—represents a sterling example of the author's originality and appeal, while Mark Polizzotti's superb English-language translations capture not only Modiano's distinctive narrative voice but also the matchless grace and spare beauty of his prose.
Although originally published separately, Modiano's three novellas form a single, compelling whole, haunted by the same gauzy sense of place and characters. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography of a place. Orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends, enigmatic strangers—each appears in this three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists.
Shadowed by the dark period of the Nazi Occupation, these novellas reveal Modiano's fascination with the lost, obscure, or mysterious: a young person's confusion over adult behavior; the repercussions of a chance encounter; the search for a missing father; the aftershock of a fatal affair. To read Modiano's trilogy is to enter his world of uncertainties and the almost accidental way in which people find their fates.

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      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 20, 2014
        This set of three newly translated novellas from 2014 Nobel winner Modiano is propitious in timing and format: the collection’s variety gives curious readers a broad introduction to a writer of purposefully narrow scope. Modiano has facetiously admitted to repeatedly writing the same book, usually a meditative investigation winding its ways through the City of Lights to illuminate, though never fully reveal, some lingering mystery from the period of Nazi Occupation. These three atmospheric novellas demonstrate the range of reading pleasure afforded by Modiano’s approach and the dark romance of his Paris, a city “in which adventure lay right around every street corner.” “Afterimage,” the tautest, most affecting work, is a shadowy tale in which a young writer obsessively catalogs the work of a haunted photographer who “did everything he could to be forgotten.” The title novella, a child’s eye view of the colorful gang of ex-circus performers and crooks who helped raise him, relates the boy’s sense of wonder and confusion amid his charmed, if sordid, surroundings. In the slackest of the three, “Flowers of Ruin,” a sensationalist double suicide case occasions a murky investigation into the gangsters and collaborators who sported “strange names and fake noble titles” during the Occupation. Each first-person novella is also a portrait of the artist: as the protagonists pursue the faint traces of people and places that have disappeared, we witness a doggedly inquiring writer slowly emerging before our eyes.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from December 1, 2014
        "One meets the strangest people in one's life." Indeed, and so it is in this somber trilogy of novellas from the recent French Nobel Prize winner.Modiano's work is unknown to most North American readers, and this is as good an introduction as any. The stories here highlight his concerns as a chronicler of the Occupation years and the lean times leading up to 1968; if they were films-and, it should be noted, Modiano is also a screenwriter; co-author, among other things, of the script for Lacombe Lucien (1974)-then Jean-Paul Belmondo would play several leads, always with a Gauloise stuck in his mouth at a moody, meaningful angle. The first story, Afterimage, concerns a mysterious photographer who works the chic world of fashion while maintaining a very private aura; the narrator announces at the beginning that he still knows only a little about Francis Jansen, who "did everything he could to be forgotten...completely dropping out of sight." Jansen is the antithesis of what a swinging fashion photographer is supposed to be, as if Camus had a Rollei slung around his neck-and yet there he is, the owner of "a truth that we've intuited but kept hidden from ourselves, out of carelessness or cowardice." Lean, existentially charged, the title story depicts a boy at the boundary of bourgeois society and the demimonde of the theater and circus, where people bear names such as Little Helene and Snow White and have done some jail time. The Baudelarian title of the last story, Flowers of Ruin, signals that the reader should not expect a light farce, and indeed, a police report figures in the first few pages. In a preface, the translator notes that the stories were published several years apart but cohere nicely, and though they're closely informed by the events of Modiano's life, "it is important to remember that these are fictions." Yes, but fictions with a moral bite, depicting a world in which everyone, it seems, is complicit in crimes not yet specified. Moody, elegant and dour.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2014

        Planned as a February 2015 release but moved up when its author won the Nobel Prize, this volume collects three novellas that are quintessential Modiano. "Afterimages," whose narrator recalls a photographer acquaintance who was not what he seemed; "Suspended Sentences," about a boy raised by friends of his touring actress mother; and "Flowers of Ruin," whose protagonist revisits a site of his youth, where a mysterious double-suicide took place--all concern the uncertainty of memory. The result is elegantly meditative yet remote, a still lake reflecting itself; handy as an introduction to a world figure.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        December 15, 2014
        Much celebrated in France and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize, Modiano is little known in the U.S. While his style could not be more different from that of W. G. Sebald, they share a subject: the displaced, people too experienced with the arbitrariness of fate. Modiano focuses on Paris, the fallout from the Nazi occupation, and the legacy of Drancy, the nearby internment camp. All of the characters are, as the title suggests, guilty, and most will be or have already been arrested, in two senses. The narrators (or narrator; they do appear to be the same person) of these linked, autobiographical novellas are conducting investigations like amateur detectives, uncovering facts about each ambiguous figure who attracts their attention. Even Modiano's style, plain but elliptical and carefully wrought, keeps much of the action from view, as Modiano considers the modernization of Paris as a means of forgetting. It's as if all the characters are minor, so little can be known about them. But it is just as likely they have something to hide, even from themselves. Unforgettable.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

series
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subtitle
Three Novellas
popularity
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publisher
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