Nominated by:

Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon, France

Publisher of nominated edition:

Dalkey Archive Press, USA

The Truth about Marie

Jean-Philippe Toussaint    

Translated from the original French by Matthew B. Smith 

Moving through a variety of locales and adventures, The Truth about Marie revisits the unnamed narrator of Toussaint’s acclaimed Running Away, reporting on his now disintegrated relationship with the titular Marie—the story switching deftly between first- and third- person as the narrator continues to drift through life, and Marie does her best to get on with hers. Like all of Toussaint’s novels, The Truth about Marie‘s plot matters far less than its pace and tempo, its chain of images, its sequence of events. From pouring rain in Paris to blazing fires on the island of Elba, from moments of intense action to perfectly paced lulls, The Truth about Marie relies on a series of contrasts to tell a beguiling, and finally touching, story of intimacy forever being regained and lost.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Jean-Philippe Toussaint is the author of seven novels. His writing has been compared to the work of Samuel Beckett, Jacques Tati, the films of Jim Jarmusch, and even Charlie Chaplin.

Librarian’s Comments

In The Truth about Marie a couple is separated for a few months, and although they both redid their lives, each keeps the memories of the past and imagines the other one’s everyday life. From pouring rain in Paris to blazing fires on the island of Elba, from moments of intense action to perfectly paced lulls, this novel relies on a series of contrasts to tell a beguiling, and finally touching story of intimacy forever being regained and lost. An hallucinatory visual prose style, an hypnotic atmosphere.

Related Entries