Book of My Mother (Paperback)

Book of My Mother Cover Image
By Albert Cohen, Bella Cohen (Translator)
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Shortly after Albert Cohen left France for London to escape the Nazis, he received news of his mother's death in Marseille. Unable to mourn her, he expressed his grief in a series of moving pieces for La France libre, which later grew into Book of My Mother. Achingly honest, intimate, and moving, this love song is a tribute to all mothers. Cohen himself expressed, "I shall not have written in vain if one of you, after reading my hymn of death, is one evening gentler with his mother because of me and my mother.

About the Author

Abert Cohen was born on the island of Corfu in 1895. He emigrated to France at the age of five on a passport issued by the Ottoman Empire and was raised in Marseilles. Although he chose to become a Swiss citizen after completing law school in Geneva, he claims that his true homeland was the French language. Cohen's tragicomic novels Solal, Mangeclous, Belle de Seigneur, and Les Valeureux attempt to reconnect man to his lost humanity. Belle du Signeur was awarded the French Academy's Grand Prix du Roman. Bella Cohen was born in London on 1919. During WWII, she worked at the Free French Headquarters and with the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees. She met Albert Cohen in 1943 and shared a life with him from 1947 until his death in 1981. Her translation of Book of My Mother was a labor of love.

Praise For…

Book of My Mother is a sturdy in guilt, an act of contrition, for in mourning his mother he grieves for his own lost childhood… It is an achingly honest, autumnal book, generous in its humanity, composed with art but without guile, the sincerest tribute of a neglectful son. —David Coward

You must read this extraordinary testimony. —Le Figaro

This book made me cry and taught me one of the truths of writing: the most successful book is the one that cuts to the heart of the fragility of the writer, and of Man. —Alain Mabanckou

Brilliant . . . A miracle of patience and suppleness. —London Review of Books

I do not think anyone has ever written anything more beautiful, more deeply and soberly moving, about a mother and the feelings of tenderness, regret, and even remorse that she can inspire. —Le Voix du Nord

A masterpiece. A unique book that will endure. A most beautiful love story. —Marcel Pagnol

That anything so sad can also be witty and sublimely comic makes Mrs. Cohen [the mother] into a triumph of literature. —Nick DiMartino, Shelf Awareness

A gold-plated, cherry-on-top classic in France... Characters [are] rendered with eye-popping, Rabelaisian detail and touching vulgarity... Its unspooling comedy of manners; its first-ideal-then-smothering love affair all lead the reader to still-huger questions: how can we love humans, obsessed as they are with power? How can we reconcile reason and faith? —The Kenyon Review

You must read this book. —Jacques Brenner, Paris-Normandie

One of the most beautiful love stories ever written. —Paris-Match

A most moving and delicate love song..—Le Figaro

I read Livre de ma mere twice. This heartrending book haunts you. I just had to go back to it. —Emile Henriot, Academie Francaise, Le Monde

You must read this extraordinary testimony of a son. Never before has a writer spoken of his mother like Albert Cohen. —Andre Billy, Academie Goncourt, Le Figaro

Product Details
ISBN: 9781935744337
ISBN-10: 193574433X
Publisher: Archipelago Books
Publication Date: March 30th, 2012
Pages: 162
Language: English