Portrait of the Writer as a Domesticated Animal (French Literature)

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9781564785572: Portrait of the Writer as a Domesticated Animal (French Literature)

What happens when a writer throws herself into the service of one of the richest businessmen in the world? Will all the luxuries and corruption of the business world turn her into a complacent drone?

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About the Author:

Lydie Salvayre, daughter of refugees from the Spanish Civil War, grew up in the south of France, where she received a degree in psychiatry. In her mid-forties she published her first novel, The Declaration. She has since published nine other books, including Everyday Life and The Power of Flies, and has received numerous awards, including the Prix Hermes and the Prix Novembre.

William Pedersen has lived abroad in France and Quebec City, and currently teaches French courses at the University of Illinois.

From Publishers Weekly:

Celebrated in France for her psychological novels, this latest from Salvayre (Everyday Life) deftly uses a farcical premise to examine greed, vanity, and power. Broke and bored in Paris, the unnamed novelist-narrator accepts an offer to become the biographer of Tobold the Hamburger King, the most influential businessman on the planet. She must record his every word as he flits between Paris and New York, and soon discovers that the self-made Tobold is a tyrannical megalomaniac, from his comically savage conspiracy to oust a rival to his drunken attempts to bed a female employee. Yet Tobold's cruelty sometimes takes unexpectedly charitable, if ill-intentioned turns (he hires a stranger's no-good son because he believes hoodlums make good businessmen), fueling the tycoon's belief in his own myth (playing the role of a capitalist Jesus, spreading the gospel of the Free Market). Initially repulsed, the narrator eventually finds herself seduced not only by the luxurious perks of her new life, but by the act of servitude itself.
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