Written in 1928 by French biographer and novelist Andre Maurois, Climates became a best seller in France and all over Europe. The first 100,000 copies printed of its Russian translation sold out the day they appeared in Moscow bookstores. This magnificently written novel about a double conjugal failure is imbued with subtle yet profound psychological insights of a caliber that arguably rivals Tolstoy's. Here Phillipe Marcenat, an erudite yet conventional industrialist from central France, falls madly in love with and marries the beautiful but unreliable Odile despite his family's disapproval. Soon, Phillipe's possessiveness and jealousy drive her away. Brokenhearted, Phillipe then marries the devoted and sincere Isabelle and promptly inflicts on his new wife the very same woes he endured at the hands of Odile. But Isabelle's integrity and determination to save her marriage adds yet another dimension to this extraordinary work on the dynamics and vicissitudes of love.
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2012: Imagine (remember?) being a 14-year-old obsessed with understanding romantic love. You would have swooned for Climates, a beloved 1928 French best seller, newly translated. A novel about two marriages--one in which an insecure man drives away his ethereal (and probably crazy) wife, the other in which the same man subjects his loyal new wife to the kind of emotional torture he previously endured--it’s a kind of old-fashioned parable full of dramatic prose. (The beginning of the marital breakdown is described as “a fine crack [sent] through the transparent crystal of my love.”) But don’t dismiss this delightful novel by “André Maurois,” the pseudonym for French historian Émile Herzog, as simply camp; it is strangely wise about a specific culture and time, as well as about the universal affairs of the heart. --Sara NelsonAbout the Author:
André Maurois (1885–1967), born Emile Herzog, was a writer of considerable versatility who achieved success as a biographer, historian, and novelist. In 1938 he was elected to the Académie française. He is perhaps most famous for his biographical studies of Shelley, Disraeli, Byron, Proust, and Victor Hugo. Climats (Climates) was originally published in 1928.
Adriana Hunter studied French and Drama at the University of London. She has translated more than fifty books including Enough About Love by Hervé Le Tellier (Other Press). She won the 2011 Scott Moncrieff Prize, and her work has been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize twice. She lives in Norfolk, England.
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