That Mad Ache

A Novel/Translator, Trader: An Essay

By FranCoise Sagan; Douglas R. Hofstadter (Translator)
(Basic Books, Paperback, 9780465010981, 320pp.)

Publication Date: May 2009

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“One side of this book is That Mad Ache, a fresh translation of the French novel La Chamade, written by Francoise Sagan, whose Bonjour, Tristesse became an international sensation when the author was 19. Flip the book over and the other side is Translator, Trader, a brilliant, 100-page essay on the controversial art of translation by the translator himself, who is none other than Douglas Hofstadter, the Pulitzer Prize-winning genius who wrote Godel, Escher, Bach. That Mad Ache is a witty, ironic dissection of upper class French lovers, which gracefully bares the souls of Sagan's characters and watches them misunderstand each other. It's a labyrinthine journey into the human heart in a fresh, invigorating new translation.”
-- Nick DiMartino, University Book Store, Seattle, WA


A novel of lost love set in Paris in the 1960s by one of France’s most famous novelists; richly translated and with an afterword by Douglas Hofstadter

About the Author

As a teen-ager, Françoise Sagan (1935-2004) rocketed to world renown with her prize-winning and best-selling novel Bonjour Tristesse. She went on to write many other successful novels, including A Certain Smile and Aimez-vous Brahms, as well as numerous plays and memoirs.

Douglas Hofstadter is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gödel, Escher, Bach. Among his more recent works are Le Ton beau de Marot, a verse translation of Alexander Pushkin’s novel-in-verse Eugene Onegin, and I Am a Strange Loop. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

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