Translated by Sonia Alland
5 x 8 inches, 111pp. May 2013
ISBN : 9780857421029
Rs 395.00 (HB)
In this strikingly original memoir, Marie Bronsard reweaves the history of her family—and the legend of her grandmother—leaving no stone unturned and no skeleton in the closet.
Egocentric and domineering, Bronsard’s grandmother was once a vibrant and sensual beauty. In Indochina at the end of the Second World War, she thrived in the social life of the French colony, but her young soldier husband sought a quieter existence, finding solace in the companionship of their adolescent daughter, Bronsard’s mother. The consequences of this choice reverberate throughout the family. But far from being an airing of grievance or dirty laundry, Bronsard’s memoir has the air of catharsis—here, the pain, secrets, and comic moments of Bronsard’s family are remembered with gentle humor, understanding, and affection. A wry irony tempers emotion, and it is in these pages that the author at last finds it possible to name the woman of the legend and perhaps bring her grandmother a measure of peace.
Marie Bronsard lives and works in a village in southern France. She has, since 1986, published a combination of narratives and collections of shorter pieces, mostly prose. She is best known for her novel The Hermitage (1986).
Sonia Alland divides her time between New York and southern France, where she lives in the same village as Marie Bronsard. With her anthropologist husband, Alland has collaborated on Crisis and Commitment (1994) and Catalunya: One Nation, Two States (2006). Her translation of Bronsard's The Hermitage appeared in 2001.