Minor Angels


Minor Angels

Antoine Volodine
Translated and with a preface by Jordan Stump

166 pages


December 2008


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

From Antoine Volodine comes a deeply disturbing and darkly hilarious novel whose full meaning, its author asserts, will be found not in the book’s pages but in the dreams people will have after reading it. In Minor Angels Volodine depicts a postcataclysmic world in which the forces of capitalism have begun to reestablish themselves. Sharply opposed to such a trend, a group of crones confined to a nursing home—all of them apparently immortal—resolves to create an avenging grandson fashioned of lint and rags. Though conjured to crush the rebirth of capitalism, the grandson is instead seduced by its charms—only to fall back into the hands of his creators, where he manages to forestall his punishment by reciting one “narract” a day. It is these narracts, or prose poems, that compose the text of Minor Angels.

Author Bio

A French writer of Slavic origins, born in 1950, Antoine Volodine has published twelve books, which have proven difficult to categorize since they blend science fiction, Tibetan myth, a ludic approach to writing, and a profound humanistic idealism. Minor Angels was awarded the Prix France Inter in 2000 and the Prix Médicis in 2014.
Jordan Stump is an associate professor of French at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. An award-winning translator of numerous books, including Christian Oster’s My Big Apartment (Nebraska 2002), he is also the author of Naming and Unnaming: On Raymond Queneau (Nebraska 1998).


"Minor Angels has all the markings of a masterpiece: compression, resonance, and vision."—Terese Svoboda, The Literary Review

"His talent surfaces time and again in luxurious, hypnotic ways."—Publishers Weekly

"Clever and incisive."—New York Times Book Review

"Alive with color and detail."—Kirkus Reviews

"His quirky and eccentric narrative achieves quite staggering and electric effects. . . . Dazzling in its epic proportions and imaginative scope."—The Nation

"Rilke was right: Every angel /is/ terrible. But the language here is intoxicating, and the buzz you get makes even the ugliest stories appear beautiful."—New York Journal News

"Volodine isn't afraid to tangle animate and inanimate spirits, or thwart expectations. He delights in breaking down our wellhoned meters of what’s supposed to happen. It is out of the shambles of these once-easy relationships that Minor Angels really soars."—Margaret Wappler, The Believer Magazine

"Volodine's characters struggle against humankind’s demise, managing to cling to their full names and little else, and in the process they reveal their compelling histories and strange presents, all of them concerned that their stories be told.'"—Tim Feeney, Review of Contemporary Fiction

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