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About the Author
David Plante grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, within a French-Canadian parish that was palisaded by its language, a French that dated from the time of the first French colonists in the early 17th Century to what was then most of North America, la Nouvelle France. His background was very similar to that of Jack Kerouac, who was brought up in a French speaking parish in Lowell, Massachusetts. Plante has been inspired to write novels rooted in La Nouvelle France, most notably in The Family, a contender for the National Book Award.
As a young man, Plante moved to London, where he lived for some fifty years, years in part accounted for in his memoirs Becoming a Londoner and Worlds Apart and in The Pure Lover, an elegy to his forty-year relationship with Nikos Stangos. He has published a number of novels, some referring back to his parish but also expanding into European and Russian settings. He has been a regular contributor to the New Yorker with short stories and profiles of people he knew, including the painter Francis Bacon, the aesthete Harold Acton, and the historian Steven Runciman. His renowned book, Difficult Women, a non-fiction work that profiled Jean Rhys, Sonia Orwell and Germaine Greer will be reissued by The New York Review of Books Press 2017
He has dual nationality, American and British, but lives in Lucca, Italy, and Athens, Greece.
"Plante's exquisitely sensitive novel of displacement, isolation, loss, and longing is rendered in intimate, darkly enrapturing scenes of snow, haunted rooms, and desolate wanderings."--Booklist
"Plante's new novel, while modern in setting, seems to exist in a timeless parallel universe. A questing new work from an accomplished writer - elegant, cerebral."--Kirkus Reviews
"Plante manages to capture the sense of disconnectedness . . . in this riveting novel of wandering souls."--Library Journal
"American Stranger is a beautiful novel, profound and subtle, on the rootlessness of people in worlds foreign to them and their search for self, or what remains of them in that search...incantatory."--Le Monde
"The novel bathes in a strange light, like an aquarium whose water is scandalously clear. It is modern, fast, painful, reminiscent of some small independent movies, stylish and smart movies like John Yates'1969 film John and Mary. The author has an uncanny ability to slip into the shoes of a woman, to know what she is thinking, what she feels."--Le Figaro
"There is something magnetic, even hypnotic in American Stranger, a novel born aloft by prayer and incantation. Through the meanderings of Nancy's journey in love, Plante seizes the eternal theme of the quest for identity, but invests it with a singular aura and transforms a familiar subject into Terra incognita. The question of religion, especially Jewishness, nourishes the novel and gives it its full depth of field."--Les InRocks