Beyond the Book: Background information when reading By a Slow River

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By a Slow River

by Phillipe Claudel

By a Slow River by Phillipe Claudel
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2006, 208 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2007, 208 pages

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Philippe Claudel was born in 1962. Before becoming a novelist, he was a special education teacher in Nancy (pronounced nonsi) , and a screenwriter. He lives in France where he is currently "professeur de lettres" at the university of Nancy in North-Eastern France.  This is his second novel; his first, Meuse l'oubli, (The Forgotten Muse) was published in 2000 but doesn't appear to be available in English.

Claudel won the 2003 Prix Renaudot for The Grey Souls (aka By A Slow River). The Prix Renaudot is one of France's leading literary prizes, named after the 17th century physician, Théophraste Renaudot who, amongst other achievements, initiated a system of free medical consultations for the poor and established a French weekly periodical, The Gazette.

By A Slow River is translated by Hoyt Rogers, about whom the publisher provides no information.  In fact, Rogers doesn't even get a mention on the book's cover, which is a pity considering the excellent job he did!

This article was originally published in August 2006, and has been updated for the June 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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