978-0-8112-1459-9 / 9780811214599

Loving Sabotage


Publisher:New Directions Publishing Corporation



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About the book:

Here in its American debut edition, Loving Sabotage is the remarkable second novel by young Belgian literary phenomenon Amelie Nothomb. "I lived everything during these three years: heroism, glory, treachery, love, indifference, suffering, humiliation. It was in China, I was seven years old." So announces the narrator of Loving Sabotage, Amelie Nothomb's critically acclaimed novel about a young girl who seems already stripped of illusions. The daughter of diplomats posted to Peking for three years in the mid-seventies, our unnamed narrator charges about her tightly enclosed world of the concrete ghetto of San Li Tun on her "horse" -- her bicycle -- with the dictatorial clarity and loneliness of a warrior-philosopher. "From puberty onwards," she announces at one point, "life is just an epilogue." On the battlefield of an asphalt playground, in between "wars" with the children of other nations, she discovers her first love: six-year-old Elena, her coldly indifferent "Helen of Troy." But she soon learns life's hardest rule: if she wants to be loved, she must be cruel in return. A fast, furious -- and often hilarious -- novel of childhood infatuation and intuited truths, Loving Sabotage chronicles one girl's precocious understanding of the struggles and pains of adult life.

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