New Release Books by Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano is the author of Invisible Ink (2021), Family Record (2019), 28 Paradises (2019), Catherine Certitude (2021), Sleep of Memory (2018) and other 71 books.

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Invisible Ink

release date: Oct 12, 2021
Invisible Ink
Patrick Modiano explores the boundaries of recollection in his tenth book published by Yale University Press

Family Record

release date: Sep 24, 2019
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.

28 Paradises

release date: May 21, 2019
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

Catherine Certitude

release date: Feb 04, 2021
Catherine Certitude
A classic French story from Nobel Prize-winner Patrick Modiano and celebrated illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé. Beautifully illustrated, this is a love letter to Paris, ballet and childhood for fans of The Little Prince, Le Petit Nicholas and Madeline. Catherine lives with her gentle father, Georges Certitude, who runs a shipping business in Paris with a failed poet named Casterade. Father and daughter share the simple pleasures of daily life: sitting in the church square, walking to school, going to her ballet class every Thursday afternoon. But just why did Georges change his name to Certitude? What kind of trouble with the law did Casterade rescue him from? And why did Catherine's ballerina mother leave to return to New York? Translated by William Rodarmor

Sleep of Memory

release date: Oct 16, 2018
Sleep of Memory
The newest best-seller by Patrick Modiano is a beautiful tapestry that brings together memory, esoteric encounters, and fragmented sensations Patrick Modiano’s first book since his 2014 Nobel Prize revisits moments of the author’s past to produce a spare yet moving reflection on the destructive underside of love, the dreams and follies of youth, the vagaries of memory, and the melancholy of loss. Writing from the perspective of an older man, the narrator relives a key period in his life through his relationships with several enigmatic women—Geneviève, Martine, Madeleine, a certain Madame Huberson—in the process unearthing his troubled relationship with his parents, his unorthodox childhood, and the unsettled years of his youth that helped form the celebrated writer he would become. This is classic Modiano, utilizing his signature mix of autobiography and invention to create his most intriguing and intimate book yet.

Sundays in August

release date: Aug 29, 2017
Sundays in August
From beloved storyteller and Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano, a masterful and gripping crime novel set in picturesque Nice on the French Riviera Stolen jewels, black markets, hired guns, crossed lovers, unregistered addresses, people gone missing, shadowy figures disappearing in crowds, newspaper stories uncomfortably close and getting closer . . . this ominous novel is Patrick Modiano’s most noirish work to date. Set in Nice—a departure from the author’s more familiar Paris—this novel evokes the bright sun and dark shadow of the Riviera. Modiano’s trademark ability to create a haunting atmosphere is here on full display: readers descend precipitously into a world of mystery, uneasiness, inevitability. A young couple in hiding keeps close watch over a notorious diamond necklace known as the Southern Cross. Its provenance is murky, its whereabouts known only to our hero and heroine, who find themselves trapped by its potential value—and its ultimate cost. Deftly Modiano reaches further and further into the past, revealing the secret histories of the two even as the pressurized present threatens to overwhelm them.

Such Fine Boys

release date: Aug 29, 2017
Such Fine Boys
Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano’s spellbinding tale of adolescent schoolmates and the vicissitudes of fate As a boarding school student in the early 1960s, Patrick Modiano lived among the troubled teenage sons of wealthy but self-involved parents. In this mesmerizing novel, Modiano weaves together a series of exquisitely crafted stories about such jettisoned boys at the exclusive Valvert School on the outskirts of Paris: abandoned children of privilege, left to create new family ties among themselves. Misfits and heroes, sports champions and good-hearted chums, the boys of Valvert misbehave, run away, get expelled, and engage in various forms of delinquency and disappearance. They emerge into adulthood tragically damaged, still tethered to their adolescent selves, powerless to escape the central loneliness of their lives in an ever-darkening spiral of self-delusion and grim consequence. A meditation on nostalgia, the pitfalls of privilege, and the vicissitudes of fate, this book fully demonstrates the powerful mix of sadness, mystery, wonder, and ominous danger that characterizes Modiano’s most rewarding fiction. Special feature: J. M. G. Le Clézio’s foreword, here in English for the first time, provides a rare and insightful appreciation of one Nobel laureate by another.

Little Jewel

release date: Aug 23, 2016
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.

Villa Triste

release date: May 31, 2016
Villa Triste
This novel by Nobel Prize–winning author Patrick Modiano is one of the most seductive and accessible in his oeuvre: the story of a man’s memories of fleeing responsibility, finding love, and searching for meaning in an uncertain world The narrator of Villa Triste, an anxious, roving, stateless young man of eighteen, arrives in a small French lakeside town near Switzerland in the early 1960s. He is fleeing the atmosphere of menace he feels around him and the fear that grips him. Fear of war? Of imminent catastrophe? Of others? Whatever it may be, the proximity of Switzerland, to which he plans to run at the first sign of danger, gives him temporary reassurance. The young man hides among the other summer visitors until he meets a beautiful young actress named Yvonne Jacquet, and a strange doctor, René Meinthe. These two invite him into their world of soirees and late-night debauchery. But when real life beckons once again, he finds no sympathy from his new companions. Modiano has written a haunting novel that captures lost youth, the search for identity, and ultimately, the fleetingness of time.

The Search Warrant

release date: Aug 06, 2020
The Search Warrant
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE, 2014 Haunted by the fate of Dora Bruder - a fifteen-year-old girl listed as missing in an old December 1941 issue of Paris Soir - Nobel Prize-winning author Patrick Modiano sets out to find all he can about her. From her name on a list of deportees to Auschwitz to the fragments he is able to uncover about the Bruder family, Modiano delivers a moving survey of a decade-long investigation that revived for him the sights, sounds and sorrowful rhythms of occupied Paris. And in seeking to exhume Dora Bruder's fate, he in turn faces his own family history. Translated by Joanna Kilmartin 'Absolutely magnificent' Le Monde

Lacombe Lucien

release date: May 31, 2016
Lacombe Lucien
Patrick Modiano and Louis Malle’s screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film tells a powerful story set in World War II France of a seventeen-year-old boy who allies himself with collaborators, only to fall in love with a Jewish girl This early work by the Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano relates the story of Lucien Lacombe: a poor boy in Nazi-occupied France who, rebuffed in his efforts to enter the Resistance for a taste of war, becomes a member of a sordid, pathetic group of Fascist collaborators who join the Gestapo in preying upon their countrymen. Lucien encounters the Horns, a Jewish family from Paris hiding in his provincial town. Inevitably, he must choose between the coarse appeal of violence and his emerging feelings of tenderness for the family’s daughter, France. Amid the excesses brought on by the impending collapse of the Nazi occupation, Lucien and France come to live out an improbable idyll. This classic is an essential read for students and film lovers alike.

Missing Person

release date: Sep 05, 2019
Missing Person
One man hunts obsessively for his lost identity, in this intoxicating noir masterpiece from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 'Modiano is a pure original' Adam Thirlwell 'I am nothing. Nothing but a pale shape, silhouetted that evening against the café terrace, waiting for the rain to stop' Guy Roland, a private detective in Paris, is trying to solve the mystery of his own past. His memories erased by amnesia, he has no idea where he is from, or even his real name. As he searches for clues through the city's shadowy streets and smoky bars, latching on to strangers, accumulating mementoes, photographs, scraps and stories, he starts to piece together the events that brought him here, all leading back to the murky days of wartime occupation.

Young Once

release date: Mar 08, 2016
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 garage; 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.

In the Café of Lost Youth

release date: Mar 08, 2016
In the Café of Lost Youth
NYRB Classics Original Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature In the Café of Lost Youth is vintage Patrick Modiano, an absorbing evocation of a particular Paris of the 1950s, shadowy and shady, a secret world of writers, criminals, drinkers, and drifters. The novel, inspired in part by the circle (depicted in the photographs of Ed van der Elsken) of the notorious and charismatic Guy Debord, centers on the enigmatic, waiflike figure of Louki, who catches everyone’s attention even as she eludes possession or comprehension. Through the eyes of four very different narrators, including Louki herself, we contemplate her character and her fate, while Modiano explores the themes of identity, memory, time, and forgetting that are at the heart of his spellbinding and deeply moving art.

The Occupation Trilogy

release date: May 18, 2017
The Occupation Trilogy
Born in 1945, Patrick Modiano's brilliant, angry writings burst onto the Parisian literary scene and caused a storm. His first, ferociously satirical novel, La Place de l'Etoile, was remarkable in seriously questioning both Nazi collaboration in France and the myths of the Gaullist era. The Night Watch tells the story of a man caught between his work for the French Gestapo and for a Resistance cell. Ring Roads recounts a son's search for his Jewish father, who disappeared ten years previously.

The Black Notebook

release date: Jan 12, 2017
The Black Notebook
A writer discovers a set of notes in his notebook and sets off on a journey through the Paris of his past, in search of the woman he loved forty years previously. Set in the Montparnasse district of Paris, the author, Jean, retraces his nocturnal footsteps around the left bank during France's period of decolonisation during the 1960's. He tries to remember what brought him into contact with a gang that frequented the hotel Unic in the area. His quest through seedy cafés and cheap hotels becomes an enquiry into a woman, Dannie, whom Jean loved and who once tried to admit to a terrible crime. Over the course of several voyages between past and present, we meet various shady characters, and discover that Dannie may have killed "someone". As his memories overlap with the discovery of an old vice squad dossier, Jean reinvestigates the closed case of a crime where he could well be the last remaining witness. Translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti

So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighbourhood

release date: Sep 01, 2016
So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighbourhood
Jean Daragane, writer and recluse, has purposely built a life of seclusion away from the Parisian bustle. He doesn't see many people, he rarely goes out: he spends his life in a solitary world of his own making. His peace is shattered however, one hot September afternoon, by a threatening phone call from a complete stranger, who claims to have found Daragane's old phone book and wants to question him about a particular name it contains. But when Daragane agrees to meet the mysterious Gilles Ottolini, he realises that - try as he might - he cannot place the name "Guy Torstel" at all. Yet Ottolini is desperate for any information on this man... Finding himself suddenly entangled in the lives of Ottolini and his beautiful, but fragile young associate, Daragane is drawn into the mystery of a decades-old murder that will drag him out of his lonely apartment and force him to confront the memory of a long-suppressed personal trauma. Imbued with nostalgia, subtlety, and its own unique poetry, this darkly mysterious novel weaves a spell that provokes as much as it entrances.

After the Circus

release date: Oct 27, 2015
After the Circus
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.

Paris Nocturne

release date: Oct 27, 2015
Paris Nocturne
This uneasy, compelling novel begins with a nighttime accident on the streets of Paris. The unnamed narrator, a teenage boy, is hit by a car whose driver he vaguely recalls having met before. The mysterious ensuing events, involving a police van, a dose of ether, awakening in a strange hospital, and the disappearance of the woman driver, culminate in a packet being pressed into the boy’s hand. It is an envelope stuffed full of bank notes. The confusion only deepens as the characters grow increasingly apprehensive; meanwhile, readers are held spellbound. Modiano’s low-key writing style, his preoccupation with memory and its untrustworthiness, and his deep concern with timeless moral questions have earned him an international audience of devoted readers. This beautifully rendered translation brings another of his finest works to an eagerly waiting English-language audience. Paris Nocturne has been named “a perfect book” by Libération, while L’Express observes, “Paris Nocturne is cloaked in darkness, but it is a novel that is turned toward the light.”

The Night Watch

release date: Oct 20, 2015
The Night Watch
When Patrick Modiano was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for LIterature he was praised for using the 'art of memory' to bring to life the Occupation of Paris during the Second World War. The Night Watch is his second novel and tells the story of a young man of limited means, caught between his work for the French Gestapo informing on the Resistance, and his work for a Resistance cell informing on the police and the black market dealers whose seedy milieu of nightclubs, prostitutes and spivs he shares. Under pressure from both sides to inform and bring things to a crisis, he finds himself driven towards an act of self-sacrifice as the only way to escape an impossible situation and the question that haunts him--how to be a traitor without being a traitor. In this astonishing, cruel and tender book, Modiano attempts to exorcise the past by leading his characters out on a fantasmagoric patrol during one fatal night of the Occupation.

Ring Roads

release date: Oct 20, 2015
Ring Roads
Ring Roads, for which Modiano was awarded the French Academy's Grand Prix du Roman (1972), is the story of a young Jew, Serge, in search of his father, Chalva, who disappeared from his life ten years earlier. He finds him trying to survive the war years in the unlikely company of black marketeers, anti-Semites and prostitutes, putting his meagre and not entirely orthodox business skills at the service of those who have no interest in him or his survival. Ring Roads is a brilliant, almost hallucinatory evocation of the uneasy, corrupt years of the Occupation and like The Night Watch is both cruel and tender--savage in its depiction of the anti-Semitic newspaper editor, the bullying ex-Foreign Legionnaire and the former prostitute, who treat Chalva with ever more threatening contempt; tender in its attempt to understand and identify with the Jew who cannot see the danger he courts.

So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood

release date: Sep 15, 2015
So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood
“Modiano is an ideal writer to gorge on . . . A moody, delectable noir.” — The New Yorker “The best kind of mystery, the kind that never stops haunting you.” — Entertainment Weekly “A work of melancholic beauty . . . Sincere, shattering, magnificent.” — L’Express In the stillness of his Paris apartment, Jean Daragane has built a life of total solitude. Then a surprising phone call shatters the silence of an unusually hot September, and the threatening voice on the other end of the line leaves Daragane wary but irresistibly curious. Almost at once, he finds himself entangled with a shady gambler and a beautiful, fragile young woman, who draw Daragane into the mystery of a decades-old murder. The investigation will force him to confront the memory of a trauma he had all but buried. This masterly novel penetrates the deepest enigmas of identity and compels us to ask whether we ever know who we truly are. “Moody . . . Lyrical . . . A pleasure.” — Kirkus Reviews “A writer unlike any other and a worthy recipient of the Nobel.” — Wall Street Journal

Pedigree

release date: Sep 03, 2015
Pedigree
"It's a book less on what I did than on what others, mainly my parents, did to me" Taking in a vast gallery of extraordinary characters from Paris' post-war years, Pedigree is an autobiographical portrait of Post-War Paris and a tumultuous childhood - a childhood replete with insecurity and sorrow that informed the oeuvre of France's Nobel Laureate. With his sometime-actress mother and shady businessman father barely functioning in any parental role, the young Modiano spent his childhood being packed off to the care of others, or held at a safe distance in a grimy boarding school - which he ran away from several times. His impecunious mother had "a heart of stone"; his womanising father once called the police when his son asked him for money, and later ceased all contact with him. But for all his parents' indifference, it is the death of his younger brother when Modiano is eleven that cuts deepest, leaving a wound that can never be healed.
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