By Danielle Mémoire
Translated by K. E. Gormley
Who’s really telling this story? That’s the mystery at the heart of Danielle Mémoire’s novel, which opens with a writer on stage at a public reading—a public reading that isn’t one, because she never reads a word, much to the audience’s annoyance. When an audience member finally heckles her, the writer’s response sets off a chain reaction of nested stories that tumble one after another like a row of dominoes.
Each storyteller in the series (most are writers at public readings) builds on what’s come before while often radically changing its meaning. Along the way, we encounter fatal stepladders, a painter obsessed with a transom window, a lovestruck dog-walker, and a lost cat restored to its owners through divine intervention. Playful, thought-provoking, and utterly unique, Public Reading Followed by Discussion defies classification and invites every reader to join the game.
"Danielle Mémoire’s universe is original and all her own . . . her inimitable writing . . . draws with unrivaled mastery on all the resources of classical rhetoric and handles them with such humor and skill that they are transformed into the finest examples of avant-garde." —Culture Hebdo Livres
"Danielle Mémoire’s name serves as rallying cry, password, and badge of allegiance among a group of readers that is, fortunately, becoming less and less of a secret society. le Corpus du texte.” --L’Humanité
Danielle Mémoire (1947- ) is a French writer, author of more than a dozen novels notable for bending the rules of storytelling in unique and surprising ways. This is the first of her books to appear in English.
K. E. Gormley is a translator and academic librarian living near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.