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PGC Spring 2021 - New Directions

The Beginners
By (author): Anne Serre Translated by: Mark Hutchinson
Anne Serre ,

Translated by :

Mark Hutchinson


New Directions



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Jul 06, 2021
Print Run: 4000
$22.95 CAD


7.3in x 4.6 x 0.6 in | 160 gr

Page Count:

128 pages
New Directions Publishing
New Directions
Anna has been living happily for twenty years with loving, sturdy, outgoing Guillaume when she suddenly (truly at first sight) falls in love with Thomas. Intelligent and handsome, but apparently scarred by a terrible early emotional wound, he reminds Anna of Jude the Obscure. Adrift and lovelorn, she tries unsuccessfully to fend off her attraction, torn between the two men. “How strange it is to leave someone you love for someone you love. You cross a footbridge that has no name, that’s not named in any poem. No, nowhere is a name given to this bridge, and that is why Anna found it so difficult to cross.”
      Anne Serre offers here, in her third book in English, her most direct novel to date. The Beginners is unpredictable, sensual, exhilarating, oddly moral, perverse, absurd—and unforgettable.

The author of fourteen novels and short story books,Anne Serre was born in 1960. Her work has been acclaimed here as hypnotic, enchanting" ( Publishers Weekly ), "tight and fabulist" ( Full Stop ), and "strange and beguiling" ( Kirkus ).
Mark Hutchinson was born in London in 1957 and lives in Paris. Among his many translations are Rene Char's Hypnos: Notes from the French Resistance and The Inventors and Other Poems ."

Genuinely original—and, often, very quietly so. Prim and racy, seriously weird and seriously excellent, The Governesses is not a treatise but an aria, and one delivered with perfect pitch. - Parul Seghal

Hypnotic, enchanting.

Strange, beguiling: a jewel.

[A] wry, unconventional novel about a woman's desire.

Her books that have been translated into English—The Governesses, The Fool and Other Moral Tales and The Beginners—have a glamour in the older sense of the word, that of witchcraft. These are books that, in their concern with the properties of fiction—plots, narrator, genre, characters—use these very elements to beguile. - Rhian Sasseen

The Beginners is as much a celebration of the dizzying excesses of female desire as Serre’s other work. Even in comparatively realist mode, Serre is a seductress. - Becca Rothfeld

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