Book picks similar to
The Blood of Others by Simone de Beauvoir
Journey to the End of the Night
Louis-Ferdinand Céline - 1932
Filled with slang and obscenities and written in raw, colloquial language, Journey to the End of the Night is a literary symphony of violence, cruelty and obscene nihilism. This book shocked most critics when it was first published in France in 1932, but quickly became a success with the reading public in Europe, and later in America where it was first published by New Directions in 1952. The story of the improbable yet convincingly described travels of the petit-bourgeois (and largely autobiographical) antihero, Bardamu, from the trenches of World War I, to the African jungle, to New York and Detroit, and finally to life as a failed doctor in Paris, takes the readers by the scruff and hurtles them toward the novel's inevitable, sad conclusion.
In Search of Lost Time
Marcel Proust - 1927
But for most readers it is the characters of the novel who loom the largest: Swann and Odette, Monsieur de Charlus, Morel, the Duchesse de Guermantes, Françoise, Saint-Loup and so many others — Giants, as the author calls them, immersed in Time."In Search of Lost Time" is a novel in seven volumes. The novel began to take shape in 1909. Proust continued to work on it until his final illness in the autumn of 1922 forced him to break off. Proust established the structure early on, but even after volumes were initially finished he kept adding new material, and edited one volume after another for publication. The last three of the seven volumes contain oversights and fragmentary or unpolished passages as they existed in draft form at the death of the author; the publication of these parts was overseen by his brother Robert.
Louis Guilloux - 1935
Cripure, as his students call him—the name a mocking contraction of Critique of Pure Reason—despises his colleagues, despairs of his charges, and is at odds with his family. The year is 1917, and the slaughter of the First World War goes on and on, with French soldiers not only dying in droves but also beginning to rise up in protest. Still haunted by the memory of the wife who left him long ago, Cripure turns his fury and scathing wit on everyone around him. Before he knows it, a trivial dispute with a complacently patriotic colleague has embroiled him in a duel.
A Balcony in the Forest
Julien Gracq - 1958
One reinforced-concrete blockhouse in the heart of the forest is manned, this winter of 1939/40, by Lieutenant Grange with three men, who live in a chalet built over it. Cut off from the rest of the world, their senses heightened to capture the sounds and smells of the forest, the men create their own security as autumn turns to winter. Later, though, when winter turns to spring, when the sap rises and the panzer divisions attack, Lieutenant Grange meets the fate he has never believed he would escape. But if this is a story of soldiers, it is not about fighting. It is about solitude, about watching and waiting - and about love, the young Lieutenant's devotion to Mona, the child-widow discovered like a sprite in the forest one rainy night, who, in this surreal period of suspense, becomes his lover.
Winifred Holtby - 1936
Sarah Burton, the fiery young headmistress of the local girls' school; Mrs Beddows, the district's first alderwoman—based on Holtby's own mother; and Robert Carne, the conservative gentleman-farmer locked in a disastrous marriage—with whom the radical Sarah Burton falls in love. Showing how public decisions can mold the individual, this story offers a panoramic and unforgettable view of Yorkshire life.
André Gide - 1897
One of the most popular books of a giant of modern French literature, this is a hymn to the pleasures of life that Gide came so close to losing forever while suffering from tuberculosis -- touch, hearing, smell, sight and, more than anything, taste.
The First Circle
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - 1968
At the age of thirty-one, Nerzhin has survived the war years on the German front and the postwar years in a succession of Russian prisons and labor camps. His story is interwoven with the stories of a dozen fellow prisoners - each an unforgettable human being - from the prison janitor to the tormented Marxist intellectual who designed the Dnieper dam; of the reigning elite and their conflicted subordinates; and of the women, wretched or privileged, bound to these men. A landmark of Soviet literature, 'The First Circle' is as powerful today as it was when it was first published, nearly thirty years ago.
The Year of the French
Thomas Flanagan - 1979
They were supposed to be an advance guard, followed by other French ships with the leader of the rebellion, Wolfe Tone. Briefly they triumphed, raising hopes among the impoverished local peasantry and gathering a group of supporters. But before long the insurgency collapsed in the face of a brutal English counterattack.Very few books succeed in registering the sudden terrible impact of historical events; Thomas Flanagan's is one. Subtly conceived, masterfully paced, with a wide and memorable cast of characters, The Year of the French brings to life peasants and landlords, Protestants and Catholics, along with old and abiding questions of secular and religious commitments, empire, occupation, and rebellion. It is quite simply a great historical novel.Named the most distinguished work of fiction in 1979 by the National Book Critics' Circle.
The Ripening Seed
Colette - 1923
Philippe and Vinca are childhood friends. In the glowing days and mist-filled nights of late summer on the Brittany coast, their deep-rooted love for each other loses its childhood simplicity. Philippe is destined to learn from experience, while Vinca, like all women the world over, is blessed, or cursed, with instinctive powers of perception and wisdom. Sharp and sad, haunted on every page by the sights, smells and sounds of the sea coast, this evocation of wounded, and wounding, innocence will be read with tears of sympathy and deep, lasting pleasure.
Michel Tournier - 1970
It follows the passage of strange, gentle Abel Tiffauges from submissive schoolboy to "ogre" of the Nazi school at the castle of Kaltenborn, taking us deeper into the dark heart of fascism than any novel since The Tin Drum. Until the very last page, when Abel meets his mystic fate in the collapsing ruins of the Third Reich, it shocks us, dazzles us, and above all holds us spellbound.
The Home and the World
Rabindranath Tagore - 1916
The central character, Bimala, is torn between the duties owed to her husband, Nikhil, and the demands made on her by the radical leader, Sandip. Her attempts to resolve the irreconciliable pressures of the home and world reflect the conflict in India itself, and the tragic outcome foreshadows the unrest that accompanied Partition in 1947. This edition includes an introduction by Anita Desai.
Exile and the Kingdom
Albert Camus - 1957
Translated from the French by Justin O'Brien.The six works featured in this volume are: "The Adulterous Woman" ("La Femme adultère") "The Renegade or a Confused Spirit" ("Le Renégat ou un esprit confus") "The Silent Men" ("Les Muets") "The Guest" ("L'Hôte") "Jonas or the Artist at Work" ("Jonas ou l’artiste au travail") "The Growing Stone" ("La Pierre qui pousse")