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Take This Man

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Alice is about to marry Mad. Alice is white. Mad is black. Alice is French; Mad, though he has studied and lived in France for years, is not. They have been friends since childhood and never been romantically involved. But now Mad is being threatened with deportation and marrying Alice strikes both friends as the best solution to their problems. On the eve of her wedding, ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Europa Editions (first published March 3rd 2010)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Darjeelingdo
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Troisième roman d'Alice Zeniter que je lis. Je l'ai découverte avec L'art de perdre que j'ai beaucoup aimé et j'ai donc cherché d'autres livres de cet auteur. Déçue par Juste avant l'oubli (je n'ai pas adhéré du tout à l'intrigue policière), j'ai retrouvé avec plaisir le style Zeniter avec Jusque dans nos bras.
C'est l'histoire d'une profonde amitié entre Alice et Mad, alias Amadou, d'origine malienne.. Ensemble ils ont tout partagé depuis les bancs de la maternelle puis au collège et au lycée,
...more
Nanou
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parce quil ne supporte plus les formalités du renouvellement régulier de son titre de séjour, Mad, un jeune malien, a décidé de tout faire pour obtenir la nationalité française. Mais ce nest pas si facile et en désespoir de cause, il demande à Alice, la narratrice, quil connait depuis lécole maternelle, de lépouser, pas pour un mariage damour mais pour un mariage blanc. Alice a accepté, parce que Mad est son meilleur ami, et parce quelle est révoltée par le racisme ambiant, par les mesures ...more
Gretel
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
An intelligent exploration of friendship, politics and race, but I found it a bit too unpolished to really enjoy.
Yvann S
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We had the vague impression we could hear the planes flying over Baghdad and the bombs dropping.

Because the inner cover says it better than I can: Today, Alice is going to marry Mad. They have been friends since childhood. They have played together, laughed together, cried together, and taken stands against injustice together. Today, Alice is going to marry Mad not because after years of friendship they have suddenly become romantically involved, but because Alice is white and French, and Mad
...more
David Hebblethwaite
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Alice Zeniter was 23 when she published Jusque dans nos bras (now superbly translated from the French by Alison Anderson as Take This Man), and it really feels as though she has captured in it something of contemporary life for her generation. We meet Zeniters protagonist (also named Alice Zeniter) as she is about to marry her Malian childhood friend Amadou (Mad) Traoré a marriage brought about because it will prevent Mad from being deported under new immigration laws, despite his having lived ...more
Alexandra
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very energetic and young and smart. The kind of book I'd want to give a thoughtful teenager and while that seems like faint praise, I came away feeling like this was well suited to YA fiction. Heavy topics are discussed here, racial politics, immigration, identity, nationality. Both Alice and Mad are fully realized characters, flawed at times and confused about their place in the world. Both are drawn with real emotional sensitivity and Zeniter does a good job exploring the idea of what ...more
Jesse Aporta
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Taking into consideration that there is obviously some beauty of the language lost in translation, I wasn't thrilled with the novel, but I did like this story enough to pass it along to a friend. Zeniter does a wonderful job at capturing some of the large social issues playing out in France, but her characters seemed a bit flat. The inner conflicts of the protagonist seemed a bit trite at points, but the plot was pretty engaging overall. I think she really captured the essence of what true ...more
Monica
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: french
Alice Zeniter's voice in this book reminds me bit of early Zaidie Smith - the youth, the energy, the vivid descriptions of the current state of immigrant issues in a multiracial society (in France, though, not Britain), the identity politics of the young.

Alice the character is wonderfully revealing of her hopes, her fears and her loyalties. She's both strong and vulnerable, rebellious and scared. It's quite a balancing act and very well doen.

The translation by Alison Anderson, who also
...more
Victoria
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting analysis of race and identity in post 9/11 France that really seems to capture what it is to be young in modern France, grappling with these issues. The short chapters at times read like one long facebook status adding a sense of urgency and a feeling of being in the moment and being impulsive and without consequences in the way that everyone is as a teenager. Sometimes it felt a bit flat, and I think that is probably something to do with the translation, after all language is ...more
Cyd
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Maybe 2.5. The story of a young French woman marrying her life long friend, a man from Mali, so that he can remain in the country spends way too much time wandering around in her head. I don't know if it's an issue of the translation or the original but the flipping between first and second person narrative (in the present tense, unusually) was very annoying.
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