Born at the close of World War II, 2014 Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano was a young man in his twenties when he burst onto the Parisian literary scene with these three brilliant, angry novels about the wartime Occupation of Paris.
The epigraph to his first novel, among the first to seriously question Nazi collaboration in France, reads: “In June 1942 a German officer goes up to a young man and says: ‘Excuse me, monsieur, where is La Place de l’Étoile?’ The young man points to the star on his chest.” The second novel, The Night Watch, tells the story of a young man caught between his work for the French Gestapo, his work for a Resistance cell, and the black marketeers whose milieu he shares. Ring Roads recounts a son’s search for his Jewish father who disappeared ten years earlier, whom he finds trying to weather the war in service to unsavory characters.
Together these three brilliant, almost hallucinatory evocations of the Occupation attempt to exorcise the past by exploring the morally ambiguous worlds of collaboration and resistance. Award-winning translator Frank Wynne has revised the translations of The Night Watch and Ring Roads–long out of print–for our current day, and brings La Place de l’Étoile into English for the first time. The Occupation Trilogy provides the perfect introduction to one of the world’s greatest writers.
Meet the Author
PATRICK MODIANO was born in the suburbs of Paris in 1945. He dedicated himself early to writing, encouraged by the writer Raymond Queneau, and won immediate acclaim with his first novel, La Place de l’Étoile, published when he was just twenty-two. His nearly thirty books have been translated into more than forty languages. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014. He lives in Paris.