Category Archives: fiction

The president’s hat by Antoine Laurain (Gallic)

“Daniel Mercier went up the stairs at Gare Saint-Lazare as the crowd surged down.”   THE hat in question – and in the original French edition – belongs to president Francois Mitterand. It is probably just coincidence that two of … Continue reading

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The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain (Gallic)

“The taxi had dropped her on the corner of the boulevard.” This is very filmable – a French comedy of manners, of mores, of missing identities. A screen version might skip the rich literary (French) references but the compensation of … Continue reading

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Lincoln in the bardo by George Sanders (Bloomsbury)

“On our wedding day I was forty-six, she was eighteen.” The Bardo of the title is a Buddhist idea of a transitional state between life and death, a purgatory. I mention it because no one else bothers. There is a … Continue reading

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Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar (Gallic)

“Mama often talked of this house when I was a child, and of its squirrels with particular fondness.” WE are in the grand manner of the novel as literary artifice, a swell of sentences, characters in the rough, an anchored … Continue reading

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Nagasaki by Eric Faye (Gallic)

“Imagine a man in his fifties disappointed to have reached middle age so quickly…” SCANT as a haiku, we open with all the usual everyday details of life scrubbed out by the obsession. S reads a magazine to which he … Continue reading

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Black Sugar by Miguel Bonnefoy (Gallic)

“The dawn light revealed a ship marooned in the canopy of a vast forest”. I IMAGINE a publisher might throw a party for Miguel Bonnefoy’s lesser characters who only get a walk on part in the novels, somewhere Miss Venezuela … Continue reading

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Octavio’s Journey by Miguel Bonnefoy (Gallic)

“At the port of La Guaira on 20 August 1908, a ship from Trinidad dropped anchor off the Venezuelan coast, unaware that it was offloading a plague which would trouble the country for half a century.”   I abandoned two … Continue reading

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