Best Selling Books by Patrick Modiano

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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.

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.

Night Rounds

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Night Rounds
Surrealistic tale of a double agent during World War II.

Out of the Dark

release date: Jan 01, 1998
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Out of the Dark
A young Frenchman's romance with a woman who lives off men. After stealing some money from a dentist, they go to London where she sleeps with various characters while he writes his first novel. One day she disappears for fifteen years. A study in character.

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.

Such Fine Boys

release date: Jan 01, 2017
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Such Fine Boys
In this 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

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.

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.

Sleep of Memory

release date: Jan 01, 2018
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Sleep of Memory
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.

Missing Person

release date: Jan 01, 2005
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Missing Person
For ten years Guy Roland has lived without a past. His current life and name were given to him by his recently retired boss, Hutte, who welcomed him, a one-time client, into his detective agency. Guy makes full use of Hutte's files - directories, yearbooks, and papers of all kinds going back half a century - but leads to his former life are few. Could he really be that person in a photograph, a young man remembered by some as a South American attache? Or was he someone else, perhaps the disappeared scion of a prominent local family? He interviews strangers and is tantalized by half-clues until, at last, he grasps a thread that leads him through the maze of his own repressed experience. On one level Missing Person is a detective thriller, a 1950s film noir mix of smoky cafes, illegal passports, and insubstantial figures crossing bridges in the fog. On another level, it is also a haunting meditation on the nature of the self.
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