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The safe house : a novel

Author: Christophe Boltanski; Laura Marris
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2017.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In Paris's exclusive Saint-Germain neighborhood is a mansion. In that mansion lives a family. Deep in that mansion. The Bolts are that family, and they have secrets. The Safe House tells their story. When the Nazis came, Étienne Boltanski divorced his wife and walked out the front door, never to be seen again during the war. So far as the outside world knew, the Jewish doctor had fled. The truth was that he had  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Fiction
Historical fiction
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Named Person: Christophe Boltanski; Christophe Boltanski
Material Type: Document, Fiction, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Christophe Boltanski; Laura Marris
ISBN: 9780226449227 022644922X
OCLC Number: 1005014991
Notes: Translated from the French.
Car Kitchen Office Parlor Staircase Apartment Bathroom In-Between Bedroom Attic Acknowledgments Translator's Note Translator's Acknowledgments.
Description: 1 online resource
Contents: ""Contents""; ""Car""; ""Kitchen""; ""Office""; ""Parlor""; ""Staircase""; ""Apartment""; ""Bathroom""; ""In-Between""; ""Bedroom""; ""Attic""; ""Acknowledgments""; ""Translatorâ#x80;#x99;s Note""
Other Titles: Cache.
Responsibility: Christophe Boltanski ; translated by Laura Marris.

Abstract:

In Paris's exclusive Saint-Germain neighborhood is a mansion. In that mansion lives a family. Deep in that mansion. The Bolts are that family, and they have secrets. The Safe House tells their story. When the Nazis came, Étienne Boltanski divorced his wife and walked out the front door, never to be seen again during the war. So far as the outside world knew, the Jewish doctor had fled. The truth was that he had sneaked back to hide in a secret crawl space at the heart of the house. There he lived for the duration of the war. With the Liberation, Étienne finally emerged, but he and his family were changed forever--anxious, reclusive, yet proudly eccentric. Their lives were spent, amid Bohemian disarray and lingering wartime fears, in the mansion's recesses or packed comically into the protective cocoon of a Fiat. That house (and its vehicular appendage) are at the heart of Christophe Boltanski's ingeniously structured, lightly fictionalized account of his grandparents and their extended family. The novel unfolds room by room--each chapter opening with a floorplan-- introducing us to the characters who occupy each room, including the narrator's grandmother--a woman of "savage appetites"--And his uncle Christian, whose haunted artworks would one day make him famous. "The house was a palace," Boltanski writes, "and they lived like hobos." Rejecting convention as they'd rejected the outside world, the family never celebrated birthdays, or even marked the passage of time, living instead in permanent stasis, ever more closely bonded to the house itself.

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"Maybe every memoirist, meditating on the past, inevitably writes fiction, but Christophe Boltanski's entrancing novel walks the high wire between memory and imagination with exceptional grace, Read more...

 
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