By: Patrick Modiano
Modiano's first three novels about Paris under Nazi occupation in a single volume, the earliest, La Place de l'toile, appears here in English for the first time
When Patrick Modiano was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature he was praised for using the 'art of memory' to bring to life the Occupation of Paris during the Second World War. Born just after the war, Modiano was an angry young man in his twenties when these three brilliant, angry novels burst onto the Parisian literary scene and caused a storm.
These brilliant, almost hallucinatory evocations of the Occupation, attempt to exorcise the past by exploring the morally ambiguous worlds of collaboration and resistance.
Published in 2015.
Published by: Bloomsbury Paperbacks
It's the midsummer ball at Oxford, and a group of men and women - friends since university days - have gathered under the stars. Included in this group is David Crimond, a genius and fervent Marxist.
Years earlier the friends had persuaded David to write a philosophical and political book on their behalf. But opinions and loyalties have changed, and on this summer evening the long-resting ghosts of the past come careering back into the present.
Published in 2003.
The Sea is John Banville's Man Booker prize-winning exploration of memory, childhood and loss.
When art historian Max Morden returns to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma. The Grace family had appeared that long-ago summer as if from another world.
Mr and Mrs Grace, with their worldly ease and candour, were unlike any adults he had met before. But it was his contemporaries, the Grace twins Myles and Chloe, who most fascinated Max. He grew to know them intricately, even intimately, and what ensued would haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that was to follow.
Published in 2008.
Drawing on history, literature, and his own experience of unrequited passion, Love is a thinly disguised picture of the author’s innermost feelings.
Stendahl’s obsession with Mathilde Viscontini Dembowski is at the heart of this book. For her part, she neither returned his love nor understood him. In an attempt to expain his feelings to her—and to exorcise his love—he dissects his passion.
Bringing together the conflicting sides of his nature, the deeply emotional and the coolly analytical, Stendhal constructed a work that is both acutely personal and universally applicable.
Published in 1975.