Black Forest

Valerie Mrejen (Author) Katie Shireen Assef (Translator)
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A man decides he is old enough. A woman returns early from a lovers' retreat to a bottle of pills at home. And how should you explain the nuances of contemporary Paris to your mother, twenty - five years dead? Val rie Mr jen 's Black Forest is a book of mourning that isn't morbid or sentimental, but rather an elegant and wryly humorous brace against the void. With a paradoxically detached intimacy, Mr jen follows death's dark and twisted path through the lives it touches, wringing out every possible meaning--or non-meaning-- along the way. A writer at the height of her career who draws comparisons to Georges Perec and Nathalie Sarraute, Mr jen has cemented her status as an auteur with a singular voice, guiding us through the Black Forest of ghosts that populate her subconscious.

Product Details

Price: $16.00  $14.72
Publisher: Deep Vellum Publishing
Published Date: October 15, 2019
Pages: 80
Dimensions: 4.9 X 0.2 X 6.8 inches | 0.2 pounds
ISBN: 9781944700904
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Valérie Mréjen (b. 1969) is a writer, filmmaker, and mixed media artist. She has written five novels, most recently Troisième personne (2017 ), and exhibited widely in France and abroad, including in a solo retrospective at the Jeu de Paume gallery in Paris. She is an alumna of residencies at Villa Medici in Rome and Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto. Mréjen's first feature-length film, En ville, co-directed with Bertrand Schefer, was a Director's Fortnight selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, and her children's play, Trois Hommes Verts, premiered at the Théâtre Gennevilliers in 2014. More information, including many of her films, can be found online at http: // Katie Shireen Assef is a literary translator living between Los Angeles and Arles, France. Black Forest is her first full -length translation.


Named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2019

"Filmmaker Mréjen's extraordinary English-language debut is a catalogue of mortality...Mréjen's crystalline prose never grasps for sentimentality, and her meticulous, humane, and powerful volume unforgettably depicts the way the dead experience life after death in the traces they leave in the minds of the living." -- Publishers Weekly," starred Review

"Curiously aloof, yet still strangely engaged, much like Peter Handke's seemingly detached even indifferent characters, the narrator of Valérie Mréjen's BLACK FOREST (Deep Vellum Publishing) recounts a series of deaths, offering a kind of jeweled omnibus of ways to die, in a classy, glassy prose recalling miniaturists par excellence Lydia Davis, Michael Martone, and Robert Walser--think SIX FEET UNDER via Renata Adler's SPEEDBOAT." -- John Madera, author of Among the Dynamos and editor of Big Other."

"Filmmaker and novelist Valérie Mréjen has an eye that cuts and chisels. Nothing escapes her intuitive vigilance...With her, details are isolated and become powerful revealers of truth. Between life and death, in the tradition of Nathalie Sarraute, she seeks to write in the very place where consciousness, emotion, and reason are born, and then fade... she shows that absence can also be a form of presence."--Marine Landrot, Télérama

"A sentence by Valérie Mréjen never pushes, rather glides along the page like on silk... Mréjen puts her finger on the wound, as delicately as possible."--Eric Chevillard, Le Monde

"If Valérie Mréjen were only a filmmaker, she could have been called Chantal Akerman."--Jean-Luc Douin, Le Monde

Featured in Elle France as a "Top Ten" book. They raved, " [This writer] who always wields the verb with finesse and economy surprises us this time with its dark side-- The subject here is death."

"A masterful and delicate book...Mréjen approaches deeper waters and navigates them with a sensible and offbeat touch that lands her among the greats. " --A.N., l'Humanité