Dimanche and Other Stories by Irene Nemirovsky

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About the book

This is a collection of ten short stories published posthumously in 2000.  The English translation by Bridget Patterson was published ten years later.  Most of the stories are about relationships between family members, and a few are set during and around times of war.  The stories are:

  • Dimanche (Sunday) – about a woman with an adulterous husband and a carefree teenaged daughter
  • Les rivages heureux (Those Happy Shores) – about an ambitious, recently-engaged young woman and an embittered middle-aged prostitute
  • Liens du sang (Flesh and Blood) – about four siblings dealing with each other, their respective families, and their mother
  • Fraternite (Brotherhood) – about a man waiting for the train with a stranger
  • La femme de don Juan (Don Juan’s Wife) – a governess writing to her previous ward about the latter’s parents
  • Le sortilege (The Spell) – about the unusual living arrangements and behavior of a Russian family
  • Le spectateur (The Spectator) – about a man striving to be a neutral during the war
  • Monsieur Rose (Mr Rose) – about a man striving to maintain a detached and uneventful existence
  • La Confidente (The Confidante) – a man asking his wife’s friend about the circumstances surrounding her death
  • L’inconnu (The Unknown Soldier) – a man telling his brother about killing a German soldier

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Hood – Emma Donoghue

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About the book

Hood is Irish writer Emma Donoghue’s second novel.  Alternating reveries and reality, it is an account of how a woman copes with the sudden death of her partner. It was published in 1995, and won the Stonewall Book Award (formerly the ALA’s Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Book Award for Literature).  This 2011 edition contains some additional material, including a transcript of an interview with the author.

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Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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About the book –

“Colera” in Spanish has two meanings – 1) an infectious disease, and 2) a state of rage or intense emotion.  “El amor en los tiempos del colera” is a novel by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  It was published in 1985, his first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in 1982, and the English translation by Edith Grossman was released in 1988.  Set in a Latin American country and spanning a half century (around 1880-1930), it follows a young man’s feverish obsession over a woman, despite seemingly insurmountable odds.  Woven between and beyond the lines is an illuminated commentary on social norms, and a convincing treatise on things that can be love and things that love can be.

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The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

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About the book –

This is the debut novel of Tea Obreht, published in 2011, when it was also awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize).  It is set in fictional wartorn Balkan provinces, and the story spans generations.  At the heart of it is a young doctor, who has pieced together the pivotal events of her grandfather’s childhood in an attempt to still her own unrest.  It is dedicated to Stefan Obreht, the author’s grandfather.

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The End of the Affair – Graham Greene

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About the book –

This novel was published in 1951, and is the last of Greene’s four “Catholic novels”.  It is dedicated to “C” — Lady Catherine Walston, who was the author’s mistress, and on whom the character Sarah Miles is assumed to be based.  Lady Catherine was married to Henry Walston, and (coincidentally?) in the book, Sarah’s husband is also named Henry.  The lead character is Maurice Bendrix, who speaks in first person about the events that led to his separation from Sarah, and the course of his life after it.

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the old man and the sea – ernest hemingway

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About the book –

This novel was first published in the September 1952 issue of LIFE magazine, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  It is dedicated to Charlie Scribner, Hemingway’s publisher, and Max Perkins, his editor and friend.  It was inspired by life in the Cuban fishing village of Cojimar (east of Finca Vigia, the villa he shared with Martha Gellhorn), where his boat, the Pilar, was docked.

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