European Women Writers
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|Format:||Paperback, 147 pages|
|Published In: ||United States, 25 January 2008|
How, this novel asks, can you imagine the worst when you are young and life is sunny? The answer lies in the telling of The Living, in which a young mother, with her teenage brother, takes her two small children to a deserted quarry on a hot summer afternoon. Seen through the eyes of the brother, Benot, the drama plays out with all the power and seeming inevitability of classical tragedy, made all the more intense by the blistering heat of the day. On that blazing hot summer day Benot, to entertain his nephews, seats them in a gondola and sends them down a cableway to the pylon on the other side of the river. The harrowing story of what follows is narrated in Pascale Kramers artfully simple yet transparent prose, evoking the deep reservoirs of feeling that brother and sister cannot voice, perhaps even to themselves. The Living is filled with the vitality of summer. At the same time, it reveals suffering at its most pure and most volatile as the affected people wonder, in the wake of tragedy, whether they should subsist with the living or with the dead.
How can you imagine the worst when you are young and life is sunny?
About the Author
Pascale Kramer's "Les vivants" received excellent reviews in the French and Francophone press and won the Prix Lipp, Switzerland's most prestigious literary prize. Kramer is the Swiss author of several other books in French, including "Manu" and "Onze ans plus tard." Tamsin Black has translated many books, including Marie NDiaye's "Rosie Carpe," available in a Bison Books edition.
"Kramer's sensuous, close observation casts a hypnotic spell on the narrative, leaving the reader unable to put it down until the last word." Publishers Weekly "[The Living] stands as a testimony to Pascale Kramers exceptional ability to narrate the heartrending lives of ordinary people, without falling into pathos or exhibitionism. As such, it stands apart from many other contemporary novels, as it details the sadness and anger of a family struck by tragedy, while steering clear of exegesis or epiphany. Jean-Louis Hippolyte, author of Fuzzy fiction A lazy French summer day splits wide open when two boys die in an accident as their mom, Louise, and her brother, Benot, watch in horror. But instead of providing each other solace, the adults remain isolated in their grief. Louise can barely speak; her husband, Vincent, begins an affair; Benot feels his whole life unraveling; and Louise and Benot's mother -- who never forgave Louise for marrying at 17 -- encourages both men to escape the dreary house. Pascale Kramer's riveting page-turner, The Living, (translated by Tamsin Black) reveals the ways that lives can change in a matter of seconds. A- Entertainment Weekly
|Publisher: ||Bison Books|
|Dimensions: ||21.0 x 14.0 x 0.0 centimeters (0.19 kg)|