Madame Bovary

Provincial Ways

By Gustave Flaubert; Lydia Davis (Translator)
(Viking Books, Hardcover, 9780670022076, 342pp.)

Publication Date: September 23, 2010

List Price: $27.95*
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Description
A literary event: one of the most celebrated novels ever written, in a magnificent new translation.
Seven years ago, the incomparable Lydia Davis brought us an award- winning, rapturously reviewed new translation of Marcel Proust's "Swann's Way" that was hailed as "clear and true to the music of the original" ("Los Angeles Times") and "a work of creation in its own right" (Claire Messud, "Newsday"). Now she turns her gifts to the book that defined the novel as an art form.
When Emma Rouault marries dull, provincial doctor Charles Bovary, her dreams of an elegant and passionate life crumble. She escapes into sentimental novels but finds her fantasies dashed by the tedium of her days. Motherhood proves to be a burden; religion is only a brief distraction. She spends lavishly and embarks on a series of disappointing affairs. Soon heartbroken and crippled by debts, Emma takes drastic action with tragic consequences for her husband and daughter. When published in 1857, "Madame Bovary" was embraced by bourgeois women who claimed it spoke to the frustrations of their lives. Davis's landmark translation gives new life in English to Flaubert's masterwork.



About the Author
Gustave Flaubert (1821-80) is considered to be one of the most important French novelists of the nineteenth century. He's most well known for his novel Madame Bovary, and for his desire to write "a book about nothing," a novel in which all external elements, especially the presence of the author, have been eliminated, leaving nothing but style itself. Often considered a member of the naturalist school, Flaubert despised categorizations of this sort, and in novels like Bouvard and Pecuchet demonstrates the inaptness of this label. In addition to these two novels, he is also the author of A Sentimental Education, Salambo, Three Tales, and The Temptation of Saint Anthony.

Lydia Davis is the author of four works of fiction and was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her translations.
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