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The Baby of Belleville
by Anne Marsella (Goodreads Author)
Every new mother has a story to tell. This is Jane de Rochefoucault's story and it contains all the familiar yet magical landmarks of feeding, teething, toddling and measuring stuff in and out of Tupperware. But, as an expat in Paris, Jane also faces other challenges. Such as, how to juggle a new baby with the demands of an aristocratic husband, a competitive nursing circl ...more
Published by Portobello Books
(first published January 1st 2010)
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This is a book for adventuresome readers and I, for one, relished it. Marsella's writing is popping with inventiveness that keeps you attentive to the page and the narrative voice is so persistently odd and endearing that it almost changes how you hear. There are great bits on motherhood and, of course, the glorious city of Paris plays a key role in the tale, particularly the neighborhood of Belleville. I can't recommend this book enough. Read it! You won't believe it!
As an anthropologist, one of the things I like about Marsella’s writing is that it mixes - or plays around with the mixing of - what we call in anthropology “binary pairs”, sets of opposites or difference. In anthropology these pairs are interesting to us, in part, because we believe that the meaning or significance of an event, an object, a person and so on can be “gotten to” by thinking through such pairs, in any number of ways (juxtaposing their elements, bridging them and so forth). And I fe ...more
I (very reluctantly) finished reading late on Friday evening and I have had foot in Marsella's world ever since. I loved the way the characters’ apartment seemed to expand magically to incorporate the new kitchen. And, oh my, that Oriental throne!! My favourite chapters are probably the birth scene and the breastfeeding one, plus the one where Jane goes out at night to the bar. And the car in Italy. And the proxy conception… (you have to read it to believe it!) Overall the writing is astonishing ...more
As a Franco-American writer living between two cultures, I am interested in exploring what happens when profoundly different experiences, perceptions, worlds, and ideas collide. What do such collisions create? How do the struggles of contradiction ease into paradoxes? For me, the novel is the perfect laboratory for sustaining contradiction until, at last, something new and unexpected arises, the f ...moreMore about Anne Marsella...