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Forever Valley

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  11 reviews
These three short novels are the first works to appear in English by a remarkable contemporary French author, Marie Redonnet. Born in Paris in 1947, Redonnet taught for a number of years in a suburban lycée before deciding to pursue a writing career full time. Since her volume of poetry Le Mort & Cie appeared in 1985, she has published four novels, a novella, numerous shor ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published September 1st 1994 by Bison Books (first published November 30th 1992)
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M. Sarki
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/1137441...

Some of us take life as it comes and we accept our lot. And there are those of us who never complain and simply continue chopping wood and carrying water. But a poor ward of any sort being engaged with a personal project of one’s own design and desire in such a prohibitive life has to be proactive, and can help some to ease a troubled mind. But then, unfortunately, in the end most things never really work out, they just are.

The names of all the characters
...more
Nate D
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the north pit, filled with stone
Recommended to Nate D by: the east pit, filled with sludge
Bleak and perfectly ordered, the second part of my aptly gray-soaked commute this morning with Young Lions. This follows Redonnet's earlier Hotel Splendid in its rhythmic continuance against despair, but simultaneously depicting harsher stabs of reality along with brighter-burning guiding images and actions that approach an obscure symbology. At the same time, this is a little closer to the systems-level view of later Redonnet. In its ability to draw on all these angles of her work together, it' ...more
S̶e̶a̶n̶
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Feels like another world, only slightly different. What it's like to live with very little context for what is happening to you, around you. Musicality and repetition of prose akin to Thomas Bernhard, but with emphasis on brevity in sentence structure. Beckettian persistence in continuance of futile activities, paralysis, inertia, dry humor in the face of it all. A darkly beautiful and hypnotic novel in miniature.
...more
MJ Nicholls
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From derelict hotels to derelict churches, the second book in Redonnet’s triptych involves another nameless narrator’s frolics in squalor. This one takes place in a beyondbackwater, where the clueless sixteen-year-old narrator is talked into a life of profitless prostitution with sinister customs officers. Presiding over a dying priest and his crumbling parish, she goes in search of “the dead” by digging four holes in the garden where some previous town has, suggestibly, been buried. Meanwhile h ...more
Eugene
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
this slim volume's a revelation. an understated experimental novel. its perfection has something to do with this pared-down style, where the details are few but exquisite. at first it seems like a quaint country narrative, it then soon reveals itself to be something more--perhaps an allegorical tale. but in the end, while maintaining some of the aspects of allegory, none of FOREVER VALLEY's symbols map completely to ideas or reality as much as they manage to point uncannily back at themselves.

fr
...more
Kyle
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the most carefully miserable books I have ever read. Stunned by its telling. Throughout the narrative a church is falling apart, stone by stone—and that is what the writing feels like as well. Stone by stone.
cori
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
rly edifying author interview in the back too
Woody
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This summer I decided to read my way through Marie Redonnet's stunning triptych of novels, and it's one of the best decisions I've made. Forever Valley, the second novel, truly devastates as it reveals more and more of itself to the reader. Despite the novel's ability to transform and evolve, the reader always feels lucid and oriented. Redonnet uses very, very few descriptions, but somehow, there is an undeniable sense of realism that made me feel transported while reading--an almost metaphysica ...more
Shawna
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that I had to sink into to read. I had to lose myself in it, and came out slightly different at the end. It's voice is powerful. All that isn't said is as much of the story as what is revealed. Great read, but not in a stand-up-and-shout way, more like a sit-and-stare-into-space-and-absorb way. I was torn between four and five stars. It was fantastic writing, but left me feeling as if it was unfinished at the end. ...more
Serdna87
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was great. Parataxis. Build-up through accretion. And so on.
David
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2011
Another murky, strange piece by Redonnet. I love her style, and there are, as in Hotel Splendid, some powerful images. Looking forward to the conclusion to "The Triptych", Rose Mellie Rose. ...more
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Born in Paris in 1947, Redonnet taught for a number of years in a suburban lycée before deciding to pursue a writing career full time. Since her volume of poetry Le Mort & Cie appeared in 1985, she has published four novels, a novella, numerous short stories, and three dramatic works.

Redonnet's novels have been compared to those of Annie Ernaux, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Samuel Beckett. She has sin
...more

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