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Robert Menasse’s The Capital

Robert Menasse’s The Capital

Reviewed by Jeffrey Zuckerman

The strange charm of Robert Menasse’s polyphonic The Capital is in how it suggests that such an European Union is inextricably bound to its diversity of member countries, and yet utterly dependent on their continued collaboration. An endeavor made possible only by understanding the particular whims and fancies driving each character in this drama...

Marie NDiaye's <br><i>Ladivine</i>

Marie NDiaye's

Review by Sian Norris

Ladivine begins with the story of Clarisse Rivière, a mother happy with her structured life. Having started out as a waitress in a pizzeria, she has worked her way up to become its manager. She’s proud of her house, in love with her husband Richard, and an indulgent mother to her daughter. But Clarisse has a secret: she’s not Clarisse at all. She’s Malinka, and once a month she travels to Bordeaux to visit her mother, one of two Ladivines of the novel’s title. And here we discover the crisis that defines Clarisse’s life and which runs throughout NDiaye’s work: identity . . .

Maylis de Kerangal’s <br><i>The Heart</i>

Maylis de Kerangal’s
The Heart

Review by Alexandra Primiani

It starts with a description of the thing: what it does, how we relate to it, how we describe it. The heart of Simon Limbres—the character who will lose his life—is more than just the tissue and blood and valves that make it up, but a kind of catalyst for the life he has led until this day. The Heart, Maylis de Kerangal’s eighth book in French and her third to be translated into English, drops its readers into the life of Simon Limbres and documents the reverberations of his death felt within his family, community and through France...