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1914

Cover of 1914

1914

A Novel
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Five Frenchmen go off to war, two of them leaving behind a certain young woman who longs for their return. But the main character in 1914 is the Great War itself. Jean Echenoz, the multi–award–winning French literary magician whose work has been compared to Joseph Conrad and Lawrence Sterne, has brought that deathtrap back to life, leading us gently from a balmy summer day deep into the insatiable—and still unthinkable—carnage of trench warfare.
With the delicacy of a miniaturist and with irony both witty and clear–eyed, the author offers us an intimate epic with the atmosphere of a classic movie: in the panorama of a clear blue sky, a biplane spirals suddenly into the ground; a tardy piece of shrapnel shears the top off a man's head as if it were a soft–boiled egg; we dawdle dreamily in a spring–scented clearing with a lonely shell–shocked soldier strolling innocently to a firing squad ready to shoot him for desertion.
But ultimately, the grace notes of humanity in 1914 rise above the terrors of war in this beautifully crafted tale that Echenoz tells with discretion, precision, and love.

Five Frenchmen go off to war, two of them leaving behind a certain young woman who longs for their return. But the main character in 1914 is the Great War itself. Jean Echenoz, the multi–award–winning French literary magician whose work has been compared to Joseph Conrad and Lawrence Sterne, has brought that deathtrap back to life, leading us gently from a balmy summer day deep into the insatiable—and still unthinkable—carnage of trench warfare.
With the delicacy of a miniaturist and with irony both witty and clear–eyed, the author offers us an intimate epic with the atmosphere of a classic movie: in the panorama of a clear blue sky, a biplane spirals suddenly into the ground; a tardy piece of shrapnel shears the top off a man's head as if it were a soft–boiled egg; we dawdle dreamily in a spring–scented clearing with a lonely shell–shocked soldier strolling innocently to a firing squad ready to shoot him for desertion.
But ultimately, the grace notes of humanity in 1914 rise above the terrors of war in this beautifully crafted tale that Echenoz tells with discretion, precision, and love.

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About the Author-
  • Jean Echenoz won France's prestigious Prix Goncourt for I'm Gone (The New Press). He is the author of six previous novels in English translation and the winner of numerous literary prizes, among them the Prix Médicis and the European Literature Jeopardy Prize. He lives in Paris. Linda Coverdale's most recent translation for The New Press was Jean Echenoz's Lightning. She was the recipient of the French–American Foundation's 2008 Translation Prize for her translation of Echenoz's Ravel. She lives in Brooklyn.

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    New Press, The
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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