The Game of Life
Jean-Philippe Toussaint's felicitous trilogy
Americans tend not to get the pleasures of European fiction. If we’re going to read translated literature, we want it Big or Important—Proust, Eco, Sebald, Bolaño—and as for domestic product, blockbuster-driven publishers often seem to prefer flawed big books to flawless little ones. What a joy, then, to pick up another 100-to-150-page novel by Jean-Philippe Toussaint, which promises delight, and delivers.
Toussaint, a Belgian who writes in French, is the author of nine novels. His latest, The Truth About Marie, is the third in a trilogy about the breakup of a nameless, Toussaint-ish narrator and the woman he has lived with for six years. Making Love, the first novel in the trilogy, tracks the overlapping disorientations of jet lag and breaking up as the couple arrives in Japan (they are often in transit).
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