Mondo and Other Stories
Publication Date: May 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
In awarding him the Nobel Prize in 2008, the Swedish Academy hailed J. M. G. Le Clézio as an “author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of humanity beyond and below the reigning civilisation.” The outlying humanity that Le Clézio explores in this collection of stories finds its expression in the understanding of children. The world of Mondo and Other Stories is that of a natural world pushed to the margins by complacent, indifferent modernity.
Haunting and beautiful, these stories speak to a universal longing for a life beyond the confines and trappings of modern existence. In each tale it is a child who can see and appreciate these places filled with wonder and knowledge. Mondo is a little boy whose connection to the beauty in everything unites a seaside town. Little Cross perturbs the order of things with her question: “What is blue? Daniel flees his stifling school and absent parents for the sea. All these children, like the wise billy goat in the collection’s final story, understand “so many things, not the things you find in books that men like to talk about but silent, strong things, things full of beauty and mystery.” And in the end, so do we.
J. M. G. Le Clézio, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born in Nice in 1940 and is one of France’s best-known contemporary writers. His books Onitsha and The Round and Other Cold Hard Facts are both available from the University of Nebraska Press. Alison Anderson is the author of Hidden Latitudes and Darwin’s Wink and translated Le Clézio’s Onitsha.
"Le Clezio's style is the collection's greatest attraction. Anderson's elegant translation conveys the detailed, physical, fluid, and complex lushness of the language, which may engage and satisfy readers of García Márquez and other master stylists."—Ellen Loughran, Booklist
"In Le Clezio's fictional universe, the world exists in a prelapsarian state of timeless grace, at least until the inevitably corrupt and destructive world of adults comes crashing in."—Michael Lindgren, Washington Post