Readers in North America can now get a taste of the writer who critics are calling the “Marcel Proust of our time.” Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano and translated by Mark Polizzotti is a collection of three novellas, each surrounding a mystery: two taking place in Paris, and another in the suburbs each layered upon one another. Polizzotti remarks in his introduction to the book that Modiano’s Paris has an atmosphere like that of “Edith Piaf’s smokey laments”. However do not mistake this for a romantic rendering of the famous city; New Republic’s Adam Kirsch says “the stories that play out against this urban backdrop are unsettling, full of shadowy menace and secrets.” The three novellas, Afterimage, the titular Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin were originally published between 1988 and 1993. Patrick Modiano was the recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature.
*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo on January 6th, 2015.