My Manservant and Me

(Author) (Translator)
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Product Details

Price
$15.95  $14.83
Publisher
Nightboat Books
Publish Date
Pages
104
Dimensions
5.2 X 7.9 X 0.4 inches | 0.3 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781643621524

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About the Author

Hervé Guibert (1955-1991) was a French writer and photographer. A critic for Le Monde, he was the author of some thirty books, most notably To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life, which presents an intimate portrait of Michel Foucault and played a significant role in changing public attitudes in France towards AIDS.

Reviews

"Rendered in crisp, cranky English by Jeffrey Zuckerman, My Manservant and Me is a caustic feast. Its extraordinary bitterness is shot through with a certain debased kink."--Dustin Illingworth, The New York Times

"The novel was published in France in 1991, the year Guibert died of AIDS. His final years were marked by a bleak isolation akin to the one that engulfs the narrator... Guibert is the consummate poet of obsession: the way it unravels the self, and gives it substance, too."--Kirkus (Starred Review)

"Guibert's unflinching descriptions and unfettered prose put him in a prominent place on the gay fiction continuum, somewhere between J.R. Ackerley and Garth Greenwell. Thanks to Zuckerman's sumptuous translation, Anglophone readers can enjoy this captivating firecracker."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"​​In My Manservant and Me Guibert builds a short narrative on the idea that AIDS makes young people old. Without once mentioning AIDS, the book gives the thoughts of a very old millionaire (living in the next century) who becomes more and more a victim of his valet, a sort of fiendish secret sharer . . . And yet the complicity between master and servant is loving if bizarre and violent, and the valet is willing to let his master dictate the very text we're reading, which is dated 'Kyoto-Anchorage-Paris. January-February 2036'. Throughout Guibert's eventful and rushed writing career he had regularly alternated surreal novels filled with invented characters and events with thinly disguised autobiography (often not disguised at all). [My Manservant and Me] is perhaps his most successful invention, partly because it gives in such lip-smacking, shocking detail the truth of physical decline and of the humiliation of being dependent on a hired helper. It's also a very funny book."--Edmund White, London Review of Books