"A transporting French novel perfectly suited to the summer blues." -Jameson Fitzpatrick, Next Magazine
Summer is not my favorite season. As much as I love a revealing tank top and a short short (and boy, do I), the heat always unsettles me—bringing on a very particular melancholy each year as the days stretch interminably on.
Logic (and the better part of my life spent in therapy) seems to point to my first love, a summer fling at 14 that ended in heartbreak, as the source of my kind of seasonal affective disorder. Accordingly, while others may reach for a breezy, beach-ready paperback, a tragic love story is my preferred summer reading.
This July, Daniel Arsand’s Lovers (Europa Editions) is the book to which I keep returning. Though it’s short enough to finish in a single sitting—with many chapters not more than a few paragraphs long—Arsand’s prose, gracefully translated from the French by Howard Curtis, is hypnotic, sensual and slippery, the sort of writing that warrants more than one re-reading. Like so many first loves, it’s a sad but beautiful story, chronicling the doomed affair between Balthazar de Créon, a prince in ancien régime France, and the angelic peasant boy to whom he devotes himself, Sébastien Faure. Read More