Image of Lake in Maine

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake, by French-Canadian internationally acclaimed crime writer Andrée A. Michaud, is an arresting, surrealist thriller that is propelled by a deeply relatable yet comically unlikable protagonist. Robert Moreau is a fifty-something retiree who abruptly left behind his family and friends, with only his loyal dog Jeff as company, to…

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A Beast in Paradise

At the end of the book, I was left wondering who was the title beast? Alexander or Blanche? It was only in the days after as I continued to ponder that question that I stumbled across the original French title—as a novice student of French, I was struck by its…

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Disoriental

It’s rare to find a book whose title sums it up so perfectly, and perhaps rarer still that the exceptionality of this title was preserved in the process of translating it from French to English. The title “Disoriental” can be interpreted in a myriad of ways, yet it would be…

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Scan from old edition of Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata for violin & piano

The Bridgetower Sonata

Sonata per un mulattico lunatico. This is the dedication that Ludwig van Beethoven affectionately gave to his Violin Sonata No. 9, a piece deemed not only too hard to play, but also “outrageously unintelligible” and an affront to music, by contemporary virtuosic violinists. Due to a falling out, Beethoven ultimately…

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The Heart

Under the craft of a skilled writer, even the most straightforward story idea can breathe poetry. Such is the case in de Kerangal’s The Heart, originally published in French under the title Réparer les vivants (literally translated as “mend the living”). From the first line, Simon Limbres is introduced, or…

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