9781860466366 / 1860466362

Georges Perec: A Life in Words


Publisher:Harvill Press Editions



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About the book:

Georges Perec was one of the finest writers of the 20th century and yet his work remains relatively obscure. He is probably best known for Life: A User's Manual a book he dedicated to his fellow avant- gardist Raymond Queneau (who, along with Harry Matthews, Italo Calvino, Perec and others, was a member of OuLiPo-- an important group of experimental writers and mathematicians). He wrote the wonderful lipogram A Void a book in which the letter "e" never appears and the world's longest palindrome (in the form of a two-and-a- half page story.) He is seen by many as a true literary genius. Bellos traces the sadness behind Perec's prodigious wordplay, his confused and tragic lineage (including his mother's demise in the death camps), his entry on to the literary scene with the anti-materialist Things, his Jewish (non-)identity. Without Bellos's translations Perec would probably have remained unknown outside of France. Without this readable, compelling, exhaustive biography his often autobiographical, highly structured fiction would be far less approachable. Georges Perec: a Life in Words is a fitting testimony to a writer we should all know better. --Mark Thwaite

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