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Живак
Print Edition
ISBN
978-954-529-655-0
Price
9.00 lv.
(12.00 lv.)
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Information
Rating (6)
5 6
Format
Paperback
Size
13/20
Weight
170 gr.
Pages
144
Published
14 May 2009

Mercure

The novel is set, almost entirely, in 1923 and on a small, isolated island, owned by the mysterious old Capitaine, Omer Loncours. A nurse, Françoise Chavaigne is summoned, to take care of the island's other noteworthy inhabitant, the Captain's young ward, Hazel Englert. Hazel lost both her parents during the war, in a dreadful attack in which she was apparently horribly disfigured. Now approaching her twenty-third birthday, Hazel has fallen slightly ill and needs some medical attention.

Strict rules are set for Françoise when she comes to the island, the most notable being that she is not allowed to bring a mirror. By order of the Captain there are, indeed, no mirrors to be seen anywhere on the island, indeed nothing that reflects much of anything -- all so Hazel does not have to see her own reflection.

Françoise befriends Hazel -- who is, in any case, more in need of friendship than medical attention. Hazel's relationship with the Captain is decidedly unhealthy, and Françoise slowly learns more about the bizarre happenings on the island. She also uncovers an old obsession of the Captain's, another young woman that the Captain hid away, but who killed herself.

Nothomb builds up the story nicely, as Françoise gets drawn closer into this strange circle. The nurse tries to get Hazel to see herself in her real self, but she is thwarted by the Captain at every turn. She goes so far as to purchase thermometers, breaking them for the mercury in which Hazel might glimpse her true reflection.

It is an atmospheric little novel, and Nothomb's plot-turns are interesting enough. As usual, the book is heavy on dialogue, and most of it is quite clever and reveals the characters well.

About the Author
Amélie  Nothomb

Amélie Nothomb (born August 13, 1967) is a Belgian writer. She was born in Kobe, Japan to Belgian diplomats, before living in China, New York, Bangladesh, Burma, and Laos. Her first novel, "L'higiene de l'assassin" ("Hygiene and the Assassin") was published in 1992. Since then, she has published approximately one novel per year with a.o. "Les Catilinaires" (1995), "Fear and Trembling" (1999) and "Métaphysique des tubes" (published in English as "The Character of Rain") (2000).

She was awarded numerous prizes, including the Prix du Roman de L'Academie Francaise; the Prix Rene-Fallet; and twice the Prix Alain Fournier.

While in Japan, she attended a local school and learned Japanese. When she was five the family moved to China. "Quitter le Japon fut pour moi un arrachement" ("leaving Japan was a painful experience for me") she writes in "Fear and Trembling". Nothomb moved very often, before discovering Europe, more precisely, Brussels, where she reportedly felt as much a stranger as everywhere else. She studied philology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. After facing troubles in her family, she returned to Tokyo to work in a big Japanese company. Her experience of this time is told in "Fear and Trembling".

Amelie Notomb has already created an annual tradition in the literary world – a much anticipated publishing of a new novel, each year at the same time; this said, it is more than obvious that she has now attracted everybody’s attention. From the pompous premieres of her works in the bookstores of Champs-Elyssees to the pandemic cultural discussions surrounding her work, Amelie Notomb is defined as a contemporary legend. Her complex work of art intertwines cultural analysis, social subjects, and subtle style of writing that mixes together the sophistication of the Far East Asia with the rational sobriety of the Western civilization. A brilliant marketing strategist, an enigmatic figure and a very disciplined aesthete, Amelie Notomb has refocused the public attention towards the beauty of the French-language literature.

She now lives and writes in Brussels. She says she writes three novels a year, publishing only one.

Print Edition
Print Edition
ISBN
978-954-529-655-0
Buy
Price
9.00 lv.
(12.00 lv.)

* 25% online discount
Shipping - 2 lv. / Sofia, 2.50 lv. / Bulgaria
Free shipping for orders above 50 lv. + Eco bag
-25%
Discount
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