Via the increasingly useful Alma Books Bloggerel:

Marcel Aymé, virtually unknown in the English-speaking world these days, is also to some extent not appreciated at his just value in France, where – although some of his short stories and children’s writing are considered undisputed classics – the rest of his considerable body of fiction and drama is now essentially ignored. He was born in rural Burgundy in 1902, spending his childhood there before moving to Paris to become a journalist. His first novel Brûlebois was published in 1927 to critical acclaim, and his follow-up, La Table aux crevés, won the prestigious Prix Renaudot two years later, but it was with 1933’s La Jument verte that his fame became widespread...

Aymé’s 1941 novel La Belle Image (which has recently been published for the first time in English, as Beautiful Image, by Pushkin Press [beautifully translated by our good friend Sophie Lewis]) uses a similar technique: its protagonist, a successful married businessman, suddenly finds out that his appearance has been transformed into that of darkly handsome stranger. This leads him to observe his friends and family as an outsider and, among other things, to seduce his own wife – revelatory experiences which lead him to question his former life of comfort and elevated social standing (more...)

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