Le Service des manuscrits
This is the first book I have read in another language that I have not read before in English. It goes slowly, but it goes: six weeks ago, I could barely make my way through the sly fox and the vain crow.
Like the other Antoine Laurain novels I have read, this is a sunny book that, for all its sunshine, is not entirely without shadows. Violaine Lepage is a publisher, in charge of her firm’s slush pile. This is an intimate portrait of a publishing industry that is somewhat removed from reality as I understand it today, and is perhaps intended to be read as a portrait of how the world ought to be rather than how it is. Indeed, the book opens with Violaine waking up in a hospital room in the aftermath of a terrible plane crash, and finding that her visitors include Marcel Proust, Michel Hoellebecq, Georges Perec, Patrick Modiano, and Virginia Woolf.
It’s really a lot of serious fun.