The Waitress Was New (Paperback)
Pierre is a veteran bartender in a cafe in the outskirts of Paris. He observes his customers as they come and go - the young man who drinks beer as he reads Primo Levi, the fellow who from time to time strips down and plunges into the nearby Seine, the few regulars who eat and drink there on credit - sizing them up with great accuracy and empathy. Pierre doesn't look outside more than necessary; he prefers to let the world come to him. Soon, however, the cafe must close its doors, and Pierre finds himself at a loss. As we follow his stream of thoughts over three days, Pierre's humanity and profound solitude both emerge. The Waitress Was New is a moving portrait of human anguish and weakness, of understated nobility and strength. Lire est un plaisir describes Dominique Fabre as a "magician of the everyday.
About the Author
Dominique Fabre est l'auteur de neuf livres, romans et recueils de nouvelles, traduits dans plusieurs pays.
Jordan Stump is the noted translator of several modern French novelists, including novel prize winner Claude Simon, for whom his translation of Le Jardin des Plantes won the French American Foundation s Translation Prize.
The strong, intimate voice of this gentle, canny narrator continues to stay with us long after we reach the end of The Waitress Was New—what an engrossing, captivating tale, in Jordan Stump’s sensitive translation. —Lydia Davis
For his U.S. debut, Fabre offers a poignantly funny, slender slice of a French waiter’s life . . . In his patient, deliberative layering, the details of Pierre’s quotidian life assume an affecting solidity and significance. —Publishers Weekly
Simply and elegantly captures the dignity of a day’s work, the humanity of friendship and the loneliness of aging. —Kirkus Reviews
A sweetly comic book, savored with tristesse, lightly renders feeling and profundity in the manner only the French can. —Reamy Jansen, Bloomsbury Review
Fabre becomes the lyrical, compassionate spectator of all these infinitesimal, silent lives—our lives—as they move between leaving the suburban underground station and arriving home. It is a tiny fragment of life, simply told and yet touching in the extreme. When Fabre writes, he ‘really believes in the possibility of showing you genuine beauty, genuine dignity and places or people that have been somehow overlooked.’ Mission accomplished. —French Book News
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