Margarita Karapanou Rien Ne Va Plus

ISBN 13: 9781566567725

Rien Ne Va Plus

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The story is simple: a love affair ends badly. A woman and a man marry, then cruelty, infidelity, and divorce. But this novel tells their story twice, from opposing perspectives. Our sympathies are inverted; we don't know whom to trust; the distinction between truth and deception blurs, and then seems simply to dissolve. The novel shifts deftly between endless oppositions: lover and beloved, angel and demon, master and slave, reader and writer. But inevitably both stories must arrive at the point of rien ne va plus: the moment in roulette when all bets are off and you either win or lose--the moment when the game becomes fate.

Margarita Karapanou's third novel is an extraordinary experience in fiction: devastating and brave and true.

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About the Author:

Margarita Karapanou was born in Athens in 1946 and raised in Athens and Paris. One of Greece's most beloved authors, she was the author of five novels. Her first novel, Kassandra and the Wolf, was translated into four languages, and was originally published in English by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1974. The Sleepwalker has likewise been translated into four languages, and Karapanou's own French translation of the book, Le Somnambule (Paris: Gallimard, 1987), won the French national prize for the best foreign novel, an honor previously awarded to Lawrence Durrell, Jorge Luis Borges, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She died in 2008.

Karen Emmerich is a translator of Modern Greek poetry and prose. Her translations include I'd Like by Amanda Michalopoulou (chosen for the top 25 translated books of 2008), Poems (1945-1971) by Miltos Sachtouris (nominated for a National Book Critics' Circle Prize in Poetry and praised by Harold Bloom as revealing "not only the disturbing intensity of the original but also a remarkable diction and poetic pacing of her own"), and The Few Things I Know About Glafkos Thrassakis by Vassilis Vassilikos, which the New York Times called a "superb" translation of "a deft and witty reflection on writing as well as a moving portrait of the artist in as political exile." She is the recipient of translation grants and awards from the NEA, PEN, and the Modern Greek Studies Association.

Review:

"Rien ne va plus is one of the most haunting, affecting novels I've ever read. Brilliantly translated by Karen Emmerich, Karapanou's words have stayed with me like the afterglow of a flash, or the sting of a punch." ----Jonathan Safran Foer

"Margarita Karapanou writes as if riding a wild horse, holding tight to its mane. If she had written in English, today the whole English-speaking world would be talking about her." ----Amanda Michalopoulou

"In her first English translation, Greek novelist Karapanou (1946-2008) details a complicated marriage between a successful veterinarian and an incipient writer, with several intriguing outcomes. On their wedding night, naïve bride Louise witnesses her icily handsome, urbane husband, Alkiviadis, proposition a boy in a bar. Humiliated but attracted by her husband's homosexuality, Louise is nonetheless repelled by his need to control her; what follows is a crushing divorce and, then, a suicide. But that's just the first draft; Karapanou resets her story with recombined leads and an even darker slant; in this version of events, Alkis is an adoring husband who wants a baby, and Louise is a spoiled, manipulative, self-destructive character repulsed by Alkis's offer of stability and unconditional love. Ghastly details of pregnancy and abortion alternate with charming episodes of travel and discovery, such as Louise's visit to America in mismatched company. Beginning simply, this remarkable tale escalates in conflict and complexity, and proves even more engaging the second time through." --Publishers Weekly

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