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Babylon
Cover of Babylon
Babylon
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Winner of the Prix Renaudot
Shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt

Elisabeth is a woman whose curiosity and passion far exceed the borders of her quiet middle-class life. She befriends a neighbor, organizes a small dinner party. And then, quite suddenly, finds herself embarked with him on an adventure that is one part vaudeville and one part high tragedy. A quiet novel of manners turns into a police procedural thriller. Her motivations for risking everything she has are never transparent. In a world where matters of life and death are nearly always transported to a clinical setting, whether it be a hospital or a courtroom, here each character must confront them unassisted. A truly original and masterful novel from one of the world's most inventive and daring artists.
Winner of the Prix Renaudot
Shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt

Elisabeth is a woman whose curiosity and passion far exceed the borders of her quiet middle-class life. She befriends a neighbor, organizes a small dinner party. And then, quite suddenly, finds herself embarked with him on an adventure that is one part vaudeville and one part high tragedy. A quiet novel of manners turns into a police procedural thriller. Her motivations for risking everything she has are never transparent. In a world where matters of life and death are nearly always transported to a clinical setting, whether it be a hospital or a courtroom, here each character must confront them unassisted. A truly original and masterful novel from one of the world's most inventive and daring artists.
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About the Author-
  • Playwright and novelist Yasmina Reza's books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Her play 'Art' was the first translated play to win a Tony Award; Conversations After a Burial, The Unexpected Man, and Life X 3 have all been award-winning critical and commercial successes internationally; and God of Carnage, which also won a Tony Award, was made into a film directed by Roman Polanski with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, and John C. Reilly. Her play Bella Figura premiered in Germany in May 2015. Her fiction includes Hammerklavier, Desolation, and Adam Haberberg. Her last novel to appear in English was Happy Are the Happy, published by Other Press in 2015. She lives in Paris.
    A longtime fiction editor at the New Yorker magazine, Linda Asher has translated Victor Hugo, Balzac, Simenon, Kundera, and many other writers. She has been awarded the Scott Moncrieff, the Deems Taylor, and the French-American/Florence Gould translation prizes, and is a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic.
Reviews-
  • Erica Wagner, The New York Times Book Review "Reza is fascinated by what almost always remains unsaid: What happens if we dare to speak our minds? "Babylon" is darker and more mysterious than the plays that have brought her the most renown ... 'People who think there's some orderly system to life -- they're lucky,' Elisabeth reflects. Any reader who begins with such a belief will have it overturned by the end of Reza's haunting little tale."
  • Yasmina Reza "The lightness of touch bordering on comedy that [Yasmina Reza] brings to an otherwise dark tale is a reminder of her strengths as a dramatic writer, and it all adds up to a strange and memorable short book."
  • Telerama (five-star review) "...it is Ms. Reza's dissection of Elizabeth's malaise that is the real detective work here, and she renders it in a taut, unsparing prose style that is both exacting and unsettling. ... There's no doubting Ms. Reza's powers as a novelist. At her best, she can remind one of no less than Albert Camus and Joan Didion (those bards of 20th-century despair). Writers may endure more than a twinge of envy at how effortlessly the author flits from successful playwriting to prose. It just ain't fair. But then -- as the protagonist of this darkly compelling novel would have commented -- what is?"
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    Seven Stories Press
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Babylon
Babylon
Yasmina Reza
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