Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen

SKU: E-AF-169 Category:

The story of three women, whose lives criss-cross between Paris in the 1890s, at the height of the Dreyfus affair, France again in 1941 and Canada today. The first-person narrator, a contemporary Canadian simultaneous translator, goes to Paris to research Proust and escape an unrequited love, and finds instead Mme Proust’s ‘unpublished diary’ in the archives. Then there is Sarah, a Jewish French girl whose parents send her out of Paris in WWII to escape the round-ups; she ends up in Canada and never sees them again. She marries into an orthodox Jewish family and becomes more kosher than they are, constantly consoling herself with cooking – and we finally discover that it’s her son with whom our narrator is unrequitedly in love… and he’s gay. The third woman is Mme Proust herself, whose ‘diaries’ are fictionalised in a wonderful pastiche by Taylor, with irresistible and impecccably researched details of the mother’s worries about Marcel, his late-night habits, his diet and his friends, and about the Dreyfus affair – being Jewish though completely assimilated she observes it with very different eyes from her husband’s. Everything comes together poignantly and satisfyingly

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