Staff Pick

In 500 two-page short stories alphabetized by title, Jauffret presents humanity as a slew of semi-deranged monologues: everyday but always heightened, and occasionally surreal, self-portraits of strivers, ne'er-do-wells, and worse, which often feel plucked from diaries, police records, letters to the editor, and tabloid stories. Each microfiction is uniquely affecting, even as a common thread of mordant humor smears across the entire work. Pulpy and obscene on one page, devastatingly gentle the next, Jauffret is like a mad hybrid of Michel Houellebecq, Virginie Despentes, and Alain Mabanckou, with the formal gamesmanship of a nouveau-roman acolyte.

 

Dans 500 nouvelles de deux pages, classées par titre, Jauffret présente l’humanité sous forme de monologues semi-dérangés: des autoportraits quotidiens mais toujours intensifiés, et parfois surréalistes, de travailleurs acharnés, de bons à rien, et de pires, qui semblent souvent tirés des journaux intimes, des dossiers de police, des lettres au rédacteur en chef et des histoires de tabloïd. Chaque microfiction a une incidence unique, même si un fil conducteur d’humour mordant s’étale sur toute l’oeuvre. Torchon et obscène sur une page, délicatement doux sur la prochaine, Jauffret est comme un hybride fou de Michel Houellebecq, Virginie Despentes et Alain Mabanckou, avec le jeu formel d’un acolyte nouveau-romain..

 

Microfictions (Folio) Cover Image
$35.95
ISBN: 9782070355686
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Gallimard Education - April 1st, 2008

Staff Pick

Any new book by Vila-Matas is a unique kind of joy: you know you’ll be getting a form-bending investigation into writer’s-life conundrums, one that is funny, maddening, and exquisitely crafted; obviously of a piece with his past work and yet indisputably different each time out. This is quintessential Vila-Matas and maybe, somehow, his best book yet. An old man who newly has time on his hands decides to indulge his long-festering urge to write, and what better way than to bastardize an old, little-liked book by a local literary star, chapter by chapter? Chaos spectacularly ensues, and the resulting novel is a pleasurably head-scratching riddle like nothing else. 

Mac's Problem Cover Image
By Enrique Vila-Matas, Margaret Jull Costa (Translated by), Sophie Hughes (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811227322
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: New Directions - April 30th, 2019

Staff Pick

 It’s always exciting to me to see an author clearly, conspicuously going for something special, and that’s very much the case with this book. It’s an archaic world unto itself — of Renaissance astronomers, philosophers, regals, and mystics — with the tasty, winding, satirical sentences to match. But it’s also a stealthily devastating book about the relationships we want to be better than they are, the ambitions we don’t know how to actualize (and whether it’s worth it to do so in the first place), and the way those two themes intertwine. Reading this feels like reading a new cult classic, so get in while the getting’s good.

 

The Organs of Sense: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374227371
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 21st, 2019

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