Madame: Book summary and reviews of Madame by Antoni Libera

Madame

by Antoni Libera

Madame by Antoni Libera X
Madame by Antoni Libera
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About this book

Book Summary

Madame tells the story of a charmingly self-absorbed teenager as he pursues sexual and intellectual maturity—and the woman of his dreams—in Communist-dominated Warsaw of the early '70s. His French teacher, "Madame," is the object of both his affections and aspirations as news of the Cultural Revolution in the West seeps through the Communist walls. Libera paces his exuberant young hero's fulminations, fantasies, and discoveries beautifully, building a remarkably subtle characterization of a free mind in a repressive culture.

Recalling The Graduate and even the romantic films of Truffaut, Libera gives us one of the most wily, unforgettable, and unabashed young narrators in contemporary fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This epic fantasy is deeply satisfying, heartbreaking and enthralling." - Publishers Weekly

"This deeply symbolic Bildungsroman is full of tragedy and comedy, exuberance and suffocation. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Though numerous digressions sometimes take away from the flow of the novel, the narrator's lively and passionate voice keeps the reader engaged.... overall, this is an impressive debut." - Booklist

This information about Madame was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Beata Obydzinski

Good book about lost generation
A beautifully written novel about life in 1960s Poland through the eyes of an 18-year-old young intellectual boy who falls in love with his French teacher. Suspense, with many literary references and allusions.
I enjoyed it both in original Polish and in great English translation. It reminds me of my dreams of France when I lived behind the Iron Curtain.

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More Information

Born in 1949, Antoni Libera is a literary critic, translator and theater director, noted especially for his collaborative work with Samuel Beckett. Madame is his first novel.

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