Frédéric Brun
Translated by Sarah Gendron and Jennifer Vanderheyden

90 pages
9 photographs, 8 illustrations


October 2017


$17.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

October 2017


$17.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

October 2017


$17.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Perla is the story of a woman who lived through the horrors of the Holocaust and would ultimately die unable to extricate herself from its corrosive memory. It is told from the point of view of her son, who, not long after losing her, learns that he is about to become a father. These two events become the impetus for reconstructing Perla’s past and for understanding gestation, as he’s equally in the dark about what happened in his mother’s life and what is taking place in his wife’s womb. Strangely, at this time he finds himself drawn to the poets Novalis, Hölderlin, and Schlegel, and the painter Caspar David Friedrich—founders of German romanticism who strove to capture the spiritual essence of the world. With and through them, he seeks peace and grapples with the question: How could Germany produce both the purest poetry and the most complete barbarity?

Winner of France’s Goncourt Prize for a first novel, Frédéric Brun’s semiautobiographical novel considers the seemingly irreconcilable multiplicities of life—past and present, personal and collective, self and other, life and death.

Author Bio

Frédéric Brun is an award-winning French author. Sarah Gendron is an associate professor of French at Marquette University and the author of Repetition, Difference, and Knowledge in the Work of Samuel Beckett, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze. Jennifer Vanderheyden is an assistant professor of French at Marquette University. She is the author of The Function of the Dream and the Body in Diderot’s Works



“[Frédéric Brun’s] first novel strikes its reader by its questioning, its humility, and its necessity.”—Alexandre Fillon, Livres-Hebdo

“Startling in its resplendent gentleness.”—Valérie Marin La Meslée, Le Point

“Simple and clear in its language yet still capable of spanning a large and complicated subject. . . . A beautiful book and a glowing bright epitaph. But also—in all its beauty—a defiant act against the great darkness. In all its shapes.”—Jeppe Krogsgaard Christensen, Berlinske

“Luminous pages, the beauty of well-written phrases, the delicate and pure style of an author one absolutely must discover.”—Mohammed Aïssaoui, Le Figaro Littéraire

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