PARIS (AP) — "Missing Person," Published by David R Godine (Original title: "Rue des Boutiques Obscures") — "In this strange, elegant novel, Patrick Modiano portrays a man in pursuit of the identity he lost in the murky days of the Paris Occupation, the black hole of French memory."
--"I am nothing. Nothing but a pale shape, silhouetted that evening against the cafe terrace, waiting for the rain to stop; the shower had started when Hutte left me.
"Some hours before, we had met again for the last time on the premises of the Agency. Hutte, as usual, sat at his massive desk, but with his coat on, so that there was really an air of departure about it. I sat opposite him, in the leather armchair we kept for clients. The opaline lamp shed a bright light which dazzled me."
"The Search Warrant," Published by Harvill Secker. (Original title: "Dora Bruder") — "A meditation on the immense losses of the period (France's Nazi occupation) — people lost, stories lost, human history lost."
--"In 1965, I knew nothing of Dora Bruder. But now, 30 years on, it seems to me that those long waits in the cafes at the Ornano crossroads, those unvarying itineraries — the rue du Mont Cenis took me back to the Butte Montmartre hotels, the Roma or the Alsina or the Terrass, Rue Caulaincourt — and the fleeting impressions I have retained: snatches of conversation heard on a spring evening beneath the trees in the Square Clignancourt, and again, in winter, on the way down to Simplon and the Boulevard Ornano, all that was not simply due to chance. Perhaps, although as yet unaware of it, I was on the track of Dora Bruder and her parents. Already, imperceptibly, they were there."
"Honeymoon," Published by David R Godine. (Original title: "Voyage de Noces") — ": Jean B., the narrator of Patrick Modiano's Honeymoon, is submerged in a world where day and night, past and present, have no demarcations. Having spent his adult life making documentary films about lost explorers, Jean suddenly decides to abandon his wife and career, and takes what seems to be a journey to nowhere."
--"At Juan-les-Pins, people behaved as if the war didn't exist. The men wore beach trousers and the women light-coloured pareus. All these people were some twenty years older than Ingrid and Rigaud, but this was barely noticeable. Owing to their suntanned skin and their athletic gait, they still looked young and falsely carefree. They didn't know the way things would go when the summer was over. At aperitif time, they exchanged addresses. Would they be able to get rooms at Megeve this winter? Some preferred the Val-d'Isere, and were already getting ready to book accommodation at the Col de l'Iseran. Others had no intention of leaving the Cote d'Azur. It was possible that they were going to reopen the Altitude 43 in Saint-Tropez, that white hotel which looks like a liner grounded among the pines above the Plage de la Bouillabaisse. They would be safe there. Fleeting signs of anguish could be read on their faces under the suntan: to think that they were going to have to be permanently on the move, searching for a place that the war had spared, and that these oases were going to become rare all the time . . . Rationing was beginning on the Cote. You mustn't think about anything, so as not to undermine your morale."
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