A Life on Paper: Stories

Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud, Author, Edward Gauvin, Translator
Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud, Author, Edward Gauvin, Translator , trans. from the French by Edward Gauvin. Small Beer $22 (231p) ISBN 978-1-931520-62-1
Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 06/01/2010
Ebook - 248 pages - 978-1-931520-96-6
Open Ebook - 231 pages - 978-1-282-78505-2
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These 22 curious tales verging on the perverse will strike new English readers of Châteaureynaud's work as a wonderful find. Beautiful prose featuring ingenuous protagonists and clever, unexpected forays into horror are the hallmarks of these mischievous stories. The husband of the title tale, reeling from the untimely loss of his much younger wife, tries to capture her essence in their daughter, whom he photographs obsessively. By the time of the daughter's untimely death, there are 93,284 photographs. “The Pest” chronicles the narrator's tireless attempts to rid himself of his odious doppelgänger, even setting up his own suicide. A doctor interviews a decapitated head in “La Tête” and vows to help put it out of its misery. Châteaureynaud is tremendously skillful at setting up disorienting stories with convincing details and characters, as evidenced in “The Styx,” narrated by a dead man who assists at his own burial ceremony a little too importunately, until he's pushed out of the moving hearse. Translator Gauvin does a fine job of harnessing the nervous, thrilling feel of these tales. (June)

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