Dear Departed: A Memoir

Le Labyrinthe du Monde #1

Maria Louise Ascher, Marguerite Yourcenar

nonfiction Biography
challenging informative slow-paced

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Blackwell's

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First published in French in 1974 under the title Souvenirs Pieux, Dear Departed is the first volume of a trilogy by Marguerite Yourcenar, one of the most celebrated French writers of the century, devoted to her own origins and background. Yourcenar describes the events surrounding her birth in 1903, then takes us back through the centuries to meet her mother's forebears: soldiers, essayists, idealists, heroines, even ambassadors. Throughout, the history of the family serves as a window on the history of a rapidly changing Europe. Using memoirs, letters and momentos, Yourcenar richly evokes both the larger events on the European stage and the rhythms and textures of everyday existence. Though rarely visible, Yourcenar is everywhere present, her perceptions rendered in her unmistakable voice. The book is a tour-de-force of historical and literary imagination.

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