Sharif Gemie reviews Proust, Roman Familial by Laure Murat for BookBlast.
Since 1913, almost seven million people have started to read Proust’s epic: the number of those who have completed it is probably smaller. A la recherche du temps perdu has acquired a status of its own: a Proustige, as they say. Of all those readers, few have had as visceral and as personal a reaction as Laure Murat. ‘Proust saved me,’ are the last words of her unusual memoir, Proust: roman familial (Proust, A Family Affair, currently only available in French).
Continue reading 4Translation Proust Roman Familial, Laure Murat
Beautifully written in purist prose, Sad Tiger is a vivid account of incest and its consequences. But this book is more than a confessional memoir in which the author lifts the lid on shocking facts without any embroidery. It is an exploration about domination and power; about the promise and the impotence of literature and storytelling as a way to grasp and understand what is inconceivable to most ordinary people. Shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt and Prix Femina since publication in August, Sad Tiger has already sold 100,000 copies.
Continue reading 4Translation Prix Femina 2023: Sad Tiger, Neige Sinno
What is it like, reading Marcel Proust a century on? Why should you read In Search of Lost Time? Sharif Gemie finds out.
In May 2023, I had a problem which is probably familiar to many people: there
was nothing I wanted to read. Having rejected everything on The Guardian’s book review pages, I decided there was only one possible solution. I’d work through the entirety of Marcel Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu.
Continue reading Sharif Gemie, Six Months Reading Marcel Proust
A Ravaged World: Travels Across Iran details the adventures of François-Henri Désérable as he journeys from Tehran to the border with Balochistan at the height of Iranian Government repression quashing nationwide protests against the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. At the end of his forty-day journey he was arrested and interrogated by the Revolutionary Guards, who believed his story: instead of being imprisoned he was ordered to immediately leave the country. He returned to Europe with this unique traveller’s tale, recounting his adventures and encounters with a largely pro-Western people brutally subjugated by an anti-Western religious theocracy, in L’usure d’un monde: Une traversée de l’Iran / A Ravaged World: Travels Across Iran.
Désérable’s itinerary starts from a boarding house in Tehran, going on to Qom, Kashan, Ispahan, Shiraz, Persepolis, Yazd, Kerman, Bam, Lut desert, Keshit, Bam, Zahedan, then back to Tehran; and finally Tabriz and Saqqez.
Continue reading 4Translation A Ravaged World: Travels Across Iran, François-Henri Désérable
A Little Luck is a skilfully structured novel by Claudia Piñeiro, the award-winning Argentinian crime and suspense writer, in which the role of chance and the choices people make in shaping their destinies are explored. Various dramatic plot twists stack up as the lives of four women become intertwined, with each one pursuing her own version of happiness as she searches for meaning in her existence. The individual stories are woven together, underpinned by the themes of hope, resilience, and the human desire for a little bit of luck to improve their lives. As it is impossible to outline the story without giving the plot twists away, I’ll concentrate on the tone of the work.
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