Cloth $20.00 ISBN: 9780226308340 Published October 2014
E-book $20.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226232591 Published October 2014

Palace of Books

Roger Grenier

Palace of Books
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Roger Grenier

Translated and with a Foreword by Alice Kaplan
136 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 2014
Cloth $20.00 ISBN: 9780226308340 Published October 2014
E-book $20.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226232591 Published October 2014
For decades, French writer, editor, and publisher Roger Grenier has been enticing readers with compact, erudite books that draw elegant connections between the art of living and the work of art. Under Grenier’s wry gaze, clichés crumble, and offbeat anecdotes build to powerful insights.

With Palace of Books, he invites us to explore the domain of literature, its sweeping vistas and hidden recesses. Engaging such fundamental questions as why people feel the need to write, or what is involved in putting one’s self on the page, or how a writer knows she’s written her last sentence, Grenier marshals apposite passages from his favorite writers:  Chekhov, Baudelaire, Proust, James, Kafka, Mansfield and many others. Those writers mingle companionably with tales from Grenier’s half-century as an editor and friend to countless legendary figures, including Albert Camus, Romain Gary, Milan Kundera, and Brassai,.

Grenier offers here a series of observations and quotations that feel as spontaneous as good conversation, yet carry the lasting insights of a lifetime of reading and thinking. Palace of Books is rich with pleasures and surprises, the perfect accompaniment to old literary favorites, and the perfect introduction to new ones.
Daily Beast
"Reading Roger Grenier, you feel as if you're joining him in an inviting library, both of you seated in comfortable leather chairs and sipping calvados. He's read all the books in the room--how he has the time, you're not quite sure--and with a gentle and astounding ease, he recites countless lines from myriad texts and pieces them together into playful discussions of such grand topics as love, memory, death, and, naturally, writing. . . Subtle observations fill this slim volume, giving us a glimpse into the mind and life of this most sensitive of readers. While it may not leave you with many profound truths, I dare you not to fall in love."
Michael Gorra, author of Portrait of a Novel
"Palace of Books is a great pleasure to read. It is disarming, deceptively modest, and so beyond any question of fashion, of trying to seem like the latest thing, that to me it seems wholly new.  Grenier’s learning is vast; and it is all handled with great ease, as a cook might rummage familiarly in his cupboard, pulling down now this jar of spices and now that. Who, now, has the depth and range of literary culture that Grenier does? Who now lives so much in books? And yet people do, or at least they want to.  The Web is paradoxically full of them.  Young aspiring writers should take these essays as a kind of model, not for their own writing so much as for their own reading, a lesson in how to stock the shelves of the mind."
Contents
Foreword by Alice Kaplan
“The Land of Poets”
Waiting and Eternity
Leave-Taking
Private Life
Writing about Love, Again . . .
A Half Hour at the Dentist’s
Unfinished
Do I Have Anything Left to Say?
To Be Loved
Works Cited
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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