August 23, 2006
go see this
Federman's new novel
two new books just came out in Paris from Al Dante --
A qui de droit
Le Livre de Sam
by Raymond Federman
In 1942, after hiding to escape the Nazis, our narrator (named, simply, Federman) finds his way to Vichy France. Unwanted by his relatives, he is forced to spend the remainder of the war as an unpaid laborer. For three wordless years on the farm, this thirteen-year-old is assailed by suffering, death, sex, and the back-breaking labor of shoveling manure.
Sixty years later, in the United States, Federman—the author? the narrator? both?—wrestles with nostalgia and bitterness. He finally returns to the farm with his wife, but once the journey is complete he no longer knows why he has made it, nor what he expected to find. Through the merger of fact and fiction, storytelling and reality, memoir and imagination, Return to Manure extends and enhances Raymond Federman's brilliant ability to side-step narration's limits and impossibilities.
From reviews of the French edition:
"Federman pursues his work of memory and imagination with a gravity always kept at a distance, and a touch of nostalgia constantly undercut by a saving humor."
"In this kind of road movie that oscillates between derision, humor, grinding of teeth, stuttering of memory, pure and simple inventions, and even lies, the old story-teller Federman is not afraid to drivel on. A prodigious masterpiece."
"In the tragicomic mode, one cannot do better."
Raymond Federman was born in France and came to the United States soon after World War II. He has published fifteen novels, eight volumes of poetry, and numerous articles, essays, plays, and stories. His novels have been translated into fourteen languages, and have won the American Book Award, the Frances Steloff Fiction Prize, and the Panache Experimental Fiction Prize. He has been awarded Guggenheim, NEA, and Fulbright Fellowships. Federman retired in 1999 as Melodia E. Jones Chair of Literature at SUNY-Buffalo and now lives in San Diego.
Very good time.
It's not every day that one can post a perfectly even time like 2:01:00. Nice work. Good luck.
And congratulations on the new book.
Looking forward to reading it.