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  • MacLehose Press
  • Maclehose Press

Parfums: A Catalogue of Remembered Smells

Philippe Claudel

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Autobiography: literary, Memoirs, Prose: non-fiction, Travel writing

A startlingly original sensory memoir from the prize-winning author and director.

From the sizzling sharpness of freshly cut garlic to the cool tang of a father's aftershave; the heady intoxication of a fumbled first kiss to the anodyne void of disinfectant and death, this is a decadently original olfactory memoir.

In sixty-three elusive episodes we roam freely across the countryside of Lorraine, North-East France, from kitchen to farm to a lover's bed. Recognising the bittersweet nostalgia of a scent that slips away on the summer breeze, Claudel demonstrates again his impeccable grasp of the personal and the universal, interweaved with a rare, self-deprecating charm.

This is an evocative patchwork at once earthy and ethereal, erotic and heart-breaking. Claudel permits us a glimpse of moments that have driven him to delight or despair, creating through the fading aromas of the past fragments of humour, insight and quite intangible beauty.

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Philippe Claudel

Philippe Claudel is a university lecturer, novelist, film director and scriptwriter. He has written 14 novels that have been translated into various languages. He was born in Dombasle-sur-Meurthe in 1962 where he still lives. In 2009 his film I've Loved You So Long (Il y a longtemps que je t'aime), which draws upon Claudel's eleven years teaching in prisons, won the BAFTA for Best Foreign Language film. Among his novels, Grey Souls won the Prix Renaudot in France, the American Gumshoe Award and the Swedish Martin Beck award. Brodeck's Report won the 2010 Independent Foreign Fiction Award.

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