Friday, October 17, 2008

Le Clézio at NPR

At the National Public Radio website, listen to a short portrait of this year's Nobel Prize winner, and to Emmanuel Lenain read from Godine's own title, The Prospector. Let's hope there are a few more shows on Le Clézio!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Le Clézio Roundup

There has been plenty of press – as is to be expected – on yesterday's announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The New York Times describes laureate Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio as an author "whose work reflects a seemingly insatiable restlessness and sense of wonder about other places and other cultures," and the Los Angeles Times supports that assessment with this quote from the author: "Western culture has become too monolithic. . . The entire unknowable part of the human being is obscured in the name of rationalism. It is my awareness of this that has pushed me towards other civilizations."

The Washington Post reports on the new Nobel-winner with one eye here at the states, "There was little joy among New York publishers at this year's Nobel news. With recent winners such as Britain's Doris Lessing and Turkey's Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel laureates' American publishers could count on cleaning up with increased sales of backlist titles. But no major publisher in this country since Atheneum, more than 30 years ago, has bothered with translations of Le Clézio's work. This left the celebrating to small publishers such as David Godine."

And at Publisher's Weekly you can get a quick glimpse into life here at Godine through this classic David Godine quote. "David R. Godine published The Prospector in 1993. An ebullient Godine recalled a walk among the booths at Frankfurt, where, he said, he asks the same question of most foreign publishes each year: Who are your great writers who aren’t in English? 'Anne-Marie Solange, at Gallimard – she’s always bitching that Americans don’t read French writers. So I asked her the question. She gave me three names – Sylvie Germain, Patrick Modiano and J.M.G. Le Clezio. I published all three, and for the right reasons. And now one pays off!' Godine said, 'I must’ve been on drugs' when he discovered he originally printed 6,000 copies of The Prospector, but was happy to find he had 500 copies in stock – all of them spoken for in a matter of hours after the Nobel announcement [almost—ed.]. The Boston-based house will go back to press for a paperback version, and has another Le Clézio book already in the works, Le Désert, due next year."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Le Clézio: Nobel Prize 2008

David R. Godine, Publisher, is proud to announce that J.M.G. Le Clézio – author of The Prospector, the first title in our Verba Mundi Series – is the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature.

In 1993, Godine published Le Clézio’s The Prospector (Le chercheur d’or, Gallimard, 1985) as the inaugural book of the Verba Mundi series, offering the best of modern world literature in translation, including works by José Donoso, Isaac Babel, Georges Perec, and others. A novel rich with sensuality and haunting resonance, The Prospector tells of one man’s obsessive search for a legendary buried treasure – and, through it, for the “lost gold’ of his childhood. The quest takes him from the lush tropical island of Mauritius to the hell of the first World War, and from a mysterious love affair to a shattering confrontation with his own motives. The Prospector was praised in France as “a parable of the human condition” (Le Monde), a “fabulous story” (Liberation), and “an ambitious, masterful book” (Le Point).

“Hypnotic and mythic … Le Clézio brilliantly conveys the sublime and terrible beauty of life and its twin, death, in devastating evocations … a remarkable work.” – ALA Booklist (starred review)

“A gentle portrayal of a man haunted by visions of his ideal childhood … [Le Clézio’s] writing is deeply evocative and descriptive.” – Publishers Weekly

“An entertainment of the highest order that neither diminishes nor insults the intelligence and emotions of the reader.” – Chicago Tribune

“The Prospector offers a wonderful one-volume compendium of all the grand myths rooted in the European colonial experience, combining elements from Paul et Virginie, Robinson Crusoe, and Indiana Jones….A key text” – Washington Post Book World

For further information, please contact Susan Barba, Editor, 617- 451-9600, ext. 26.