Best Selling Books by Patrick Modiano

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Suspended Sentences

release date: Jan 01, 2014
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Suspended Sentences
Presents three short novels which explore the influence of the past, the complexities of human relationships, and the mysterious power of Paris over its residents and visitors.

Little Jewel

release date: Aug 23, 2016
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Little Jewel
A mesmerizing novel by Nobel Laureate Patrick Modiano, now superbly translated for English-language readers For long standing admirers of Modiano’s luminous writing as well as those readers encountering his work for the first time, Little Jewel will be an exciting discovery. Uniquely told by a young female narrator, Little Jewel is the story of a young woman adrift in Paris, imprisoned in an imperfectly remembered past. The city itself is a major character in Modiano’s work, and timeless moral ambiguities of the post-Occupation years remain hauntingly unresolved. One day in the corridors of the metro, nineteen-year-old Thérèse glimpses a woman in a yellow coat. Could this be the mother who long ago abandoned her? Is she still alive? Desperate for answers to questions that have tormented her since childhood, Thérèse pursues the mysterious figure on a quest through the streets of Paris. In classic Modiano style, this book explores the elusive nature of memory, the unyielding power of the past, and the deep human need for identity and connection.

28 Paradises

release date: May 21, 2019
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28 Paradises
Published in English for the first time, 28 Paradises is the marriage of prose and painting by Nobel-prize winning author Patrick Modiano and his partner, the illustrator Dominique Zehrfuss. 28 Paradises is a rare book: it reveals not only the individual talents of the authors, Modiano and Zehrfuss, but also the depth of the couple’s creative union. Sensitively translated into English for the first time by Damion Searls, 28 Paradises captures the exquisite sadness of waking from a beautiful dream. There are twenty-eight dreams in this book, or perhaps one dream in twenty-eight parts—visions of paradise imagined by Zehrfuss during a time of deep sadness. Captured first in Zehrfuss’s brightly colored gouaches, each paradise was then refashioned as a poem by Modiano. Zehrfuss’s paintings are Edens in miniature, and rather than describe them outright, Modiano dreams himself into these reveries in quiet, understated verse. The reader enters this shared realm in an experience less like paging through a book and more like slipping into a shared world. These paradises are wishes for moments when a painting, or a poem, or a lover—perhaps they are not so different—relieves the loneliness of being human. As Modiano writes with a touch of wistfulness, “The Lilliputian painted her paradises / And I / Next to her / Wrote a poem.” A pure example of ekphrastic writing—poetry inspired by paintings—this book shows how writing and visual art can together create a unique emotional experience. First published by Editions de l’Olivier/ Le Seuil in 2005

After the Circus

release date: Jan 01, 2015
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After the Circus
A classic novel from recent Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano, now available to English-language readers in a superb new translation One of the hallmarks of French author Patrick Modiano's writing is a singular ability to revisit particular motifs and episodes, infusing each telling with new detail and emotional nuance. In this evocative novel the internationally acclaimed author takes up one of his most compelling themes: a love affair with a woman who disappears, and a narrator grappling with the mystery of a relationship stopped short. Set in mid-sixties Paris, After the Circus traces the relationship between the narrator, a young man not quite of legal age, and the slightly older, enigmatic woman he first glimpses at a police interrogation. The two lovers make their uncertain way into each other's hearts, but the narrator soon finds himself in the unsettling, ominous presence of others. Who are these people? Are they real, or simply evoked? Part romance, part detective story, this mesmerizing book fully demonstrates Modiano's signature use of atmosphere and suggestion as he investigates the perils and the exhilaration of young love.

Family Record

release date: Sep 24, 2019
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Family Record
An enthralling reflection on the ways that family history influences identity, from the 2014 Nobel laureate for literature A mix of autobiography and lucid invention, this highly personal work offers a deeply affecting exploration of the meaning of identity and pedigree. With his signature blend of candor, mystery, and bewitching elusiveness, Patrick Modiano weaves together a series of interlocking stories from his family history: his parents' courtship in occupied Paris; a sinister hunting trip with his father; a chance friendship with the deposed King Farouk; a wistful affair with the daughter of a nightclub singer; and the author's life as a new parent. Modiano's riveting vignettes, filled with a coterie of dubious characters--Nazi informants, collaborationist refugees, and black-market hustlers--capture the drama that consumed Paris during World War II and its aftermath. Written in tones ranging from tender nostalgia to the blunt cruelty of youth, this is a personal and revealing book that brings the enduring significance of a complicated past to life.

Dora Bruder

release date: Nov 18, 2014
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Dora Bruder
Patrick Modiano opens Dora Bruder by telling how in 1988 he stumbled across an ad in the personal columns of the New Year's Eve 1941 edition of Paris Soir. Placed by the parents of a 15-year-old Jewish girl, Dora Bruder, who had run away from her Catholic boarding school, the ad sets Modiano off on a quest to find out everything he can about Dora and why, at the height of German reprisals, she ran away on a bitterly cold day from the people hiding her. He finds only one other official mention of her name on a list of Jews deported from Paris to Auschwitz in September 1942. With no knowledge of Dora Bruder aside from these two records, Modiano continues to dig for fragments from Dora's past. What little he discovers in official records and through remaining family members, becomes a meditation on the immense losses of the peroid—lost people, lost stories, and lost history. Modiano delivers a moving account of the ten-year investigation that took him back to the sights and sounds of Paris under the Nazi Occupation and the paranoia of the Pétain regime as he tries to find connections to Dora. In his efforts to exhume her from the past, Modiano realizes that he must come to terms with the specters of his own troubled adolescence. The result, a montage of creative and historical material, is Modiano's personal rumination on loss, both memoir and memorial.

Young Once

release date: Jan 01, 2016
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Young Once
An NYRB Classics Original Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Young Once is a crucial book in the career of Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano. It was his breakthrough novel, in which he stripped away the difficulties of his earlier work and found a clear, mysteriously moving voice for his haunting stories of love, nostalgia, and grief. It has also been called "the most gripping Modiano book of all" (Der Spiegel). Odile and Louis are leading a happy, bucolic life with their two children in the French countryside near the Swiss mountains. It is Odile's thirty-fifth birthday, and Louis's thirty-fifth birthday is a few weeks away. Then the story shifts back to their early years: Louis, just freed from his military service and at loose ends, is taken up by a shady character who brings him to Paris to do some work for a friend who manages a gara≥ Odile, an aspiring singer, is at the mercy of the kindness and unkindness of strangers. In a Paris that is steeped in crime and full of secrets, they find each other and struggle together to create what, looking back, will have been their youth.

Honeymoon

release date: Jan 01, 1995
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Honeymoon
Feeling overwhelmed by the emptiness in his life, a documentary movie maker abandons his wife and career for a solitary existence in a Parisian suburb, where he develops an obsessive longing for someone he met briefly twenty years earlier

Invisible Ink

release date: Oct 27, 2020
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Invisible Ink
Patrick Modiano explores the boundaries of recollection in a "mesmerizing, enigmatic novel" (Publishers Weekly)“mesmerizing, enigmatic novel” a strong review, declaring that its “dreamlike prose and a beguiling structural twist make it a worthy and satisfying addition to [Modiano’s] accomplished oeuvre.”The latest work from Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano, Invisible Ink is a spellbinding tale of memory and its illusions. Private detective Jean Eyben receives an assignment to locate a missing woman, the mysterious Noëlle Lefebvre. While the case proves fruitless, the clues Jean discovers along the way continue to haunt him. Three decades later, he resumes the investigation for himself, revisiting old sites and tracking down witnesses, compelled by reasons he can’t explain to follow the cold trail and discover the shocking truth once and for all.A number one best seller in France, hailed by critics as “breathtakingly beautiful” (Les Inrockuptibles) and “refined and dazzling” (Le Journal du Dimanche), Invisible Ink is Modiano’s most thrilling and revelatory work to date.

The Black Notebook

release date: Sep 27, 2016
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The Black Notebook
From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, a writer's notebook unlocks memories of a love formed and lost in 1960s Paris. In the aftermath of Algeria's war of independence, Paris was a city rife with suspicion and barely suppressed violence. Amid this tension, Jean, a young writer adrift, met and fell for Dannie, an enigmatic woman fleeing a troubled past. A half century later, with his old black notebook as a guide, he retraces this fateful period in his life, recounting how, through Dannie, he became mixed up with a group of unsavory characters connected by a shadowy crime. Soon Jean, too, was a person of interest to the detective pursuing their case—a detective who would prove instrumental in revealing Dannie's darkest secret. The Black Notebook bears all the hallmarks of this Nobel Prize–winning literary master's unsettling and intensely atmospheric style, rendered in English by acclaimed translator Mark Polizzotti (Suspended Sentences). Once again, Modiano invites us into his unique world, a Paris infused with melancholy, uncertain danger, and the fading echoes of lost love “A literary…Simenon. An atmospheric, smoky, sepia-toned whodunit, though more for fans of Camus than Chandler.”—Kirkus Reviews “Modiano’s folklore is set out from the beginning…and sheer magic follows once more.”—Vogue “The prose—elliptical, muted, eloquent—falls on the reader like an enchantment…No one is currently writing such beautiful tales of loss, melancholy, and remembrance.”—Independent “Both carefully wrought and superbly fluid, sustained by pure poetry.”—Le Monde
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