That Time of Year

(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
Two Lines Press
Publish Date
5.3 X 8.0 X 0.7 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Marie Ndiaye was born in 1976 in Pithiviers, France. She is the author of around twenty novels, plays, collections of stories, and nonfiction books, which have been translated into numerous languages. She's received the Prix Femina and the Prix Goncourt, France's highest literary honor, and her plays are in the repertoire of the Comédie-Française.
Jordan Stump is one of the leading translators of innovative French literature. The recipient of numerous honors and prizes, he has translated books by Nobel laureate Claude Simon, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, and Eric Chevillard, as well as Jules Verne's French-language novel The Mysterious Island. His translation of NDiaye's All My Friends was shortlisted for the French-American Foundation Translation Prize.


"For all its elements of pyschological horror, there is something hauntingly real to NDiaye's world, where 'pale, serene, detached, smiling faces hid an inconsolable sorrow.'" --The New York Times

"One of NDiaye's early texts, [That Time of Year] serves as a site of play for the writer's longtime interests, from class mobility and assimilation to power and control, and offers an opportunity to survey the development of a writer whose enviably imagined and intelligently executed stories have propelled her into the international spotlight...a haunting lesson about the ease with which a panicked outsider can be lulled into complacency and inaction." --Bookforum

"The book, which is a rumination on (and a cackle at) the stark differences between privileged urban and disenfranchised provincial life, feels particularly timely in this moment when the pandemic has altered the norms of cosmopolitan living and sent many urbanites fleeing to the countryside. But That Time of Year is no comedy of manners; the headline of NDiaye's story is not to satirize the crassness of rural newcomers so much as it is about how about how all her characters, when faced with their own specific varieties of isolation are, by force of nature, blind, muddled, incurious, and most of all suspended in their acquiescence....It is [NDiaye's] light, distant touch and the tradition of experimental writing that turns what should be satire into something more spare and thrilling." --Abby Walthausen, The Believer

"What at first appears to be a Kafkaesque fable about insiders and outsiders quickly morphs into a metaphysical horror story about the bonds between the living and the dead ... The novel shares some DNA with the Argentinian writer Samanta Schweblin's Fever Dream in its embrace of the fantastic and as a haunting reinvention of the literary horror story ... it left me eager to read more." --Chicago Review of Books

"That Time of Year is a thriller of unsettling quiet: about how to disappear into the crowd, to erase your otherness and melt into your surroundings." --Kenyon Review

"A study in claustrophobia, a locked-room mystery of sorts, a ghost story without the ghosts, a parable about tourism and power: all of these describe Marie NDiaye's slippery, mesmeric That Time of Year." --Full Stop

"Utterly compelling in tone, plot, and style...this gorgeously eerie book will keep you holding your breath even past the end." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Superb...a biting, brilliant exposé on class and privilege, entitlement and hypocrisy, power and control." --Terry Hong, Shelf Awareness

"A blend of psychological realism and the uncanny... That Time of Year is acutely attuned to the themes of our time. It echoes current conversations around entitlement and privilege and shows how those with money know little to nothing of the trials faced by the poor and working class. At a time in America when those with means are flocking from cities to ride out a pandemic in their country homes, setting up inevitable conflicts with locals, it is clear to me that it currently is That Time of Year, and an English version of NDiaye's book couldn't appear at a more important moment." --Barrelhouse

"Marie NDiaye is one of my favorite living writers and That Time of Year is yet another shape-shifting masterpiece. Here the disappearance of the protagonist's family is not a mystery to be solved, but rather one that gradually opens a portal into social and psychological terror. NDiaye is a virtuoso of the haunted, the alienated, the submerged, the powerfully strange--and this new novel is as thrilling as it is profound." --Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears and The Third Hotel

"If Kafka decided to join up with Jacques Tati to rewrite Shirley Jackson's "The Summer People," you might end up with something like NDiaye's absurd and dryly comic novel about the perils of staying too long on vacation. That Time of Year progresses with the fluid logic of a dream that, when you scratch its surface, reveals the image of a nightmare beneath." --Brian Evenson, author of Song for the Unraveling of the World

Marie NDiaye is so intelligent, so composed, so good, that any description of her work feels like an understatement. --The New York Review of Books

"Compelling, inevitable, and, much like the village, easy to get lost in. That Time of Year is a hypnotic novel about the spell cast by a village on its inhabitants, willing and otherwise." --Foreword Reviews

"NDiaye is writing a literature both innovative and incredible." --The New Republic

"[NDiaye's] inspiration lies not in the real world but in nightmares." --The New York Times

"NDiaye is a rare novelist." --NPR

"[NDiaye] is an impressive stylist with a strong voice." --San Francisco Chronicle

"If any contemporary European writer is on the verge of Ferrante-like recognition, it's NDiaye." --Flavorwire