Magazine article World Literature Today

Le Fils De Judith

Magazine article World Literature Today

Le Fils De Judith

Article excerpt

Marie Cosnay. Le Fils de Judith. Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France. Cheyne. 2014. isbn 9782841161973

Marie Cosnay's latest novel, like many of her other books, involves a quest for origins, as a young woman named Helen searches for her father. More broadly, Helen is trying to piece together the fragmented elements of her own story while at the same time attempting to tell that story. It's a tall order, of course, and one that will lead her into a few narrative blind alleys. The man who raised her, Quentin, may be something more than an adoptive father; both Isole and Magdalena are compelling candidates for motherhood; Eugen, a mathematician who has never fit in anywhere else, is somehow entwined in Helen's story, either as a brother or a father. Helen herself is always on the move, traveling from place to place in an effort to find people capable of telling her who she might be.

Cosnay's narration is likewise mobile, alternating from first person to third person, shifting focus and point of view, insistently interrogative in tone, rather than declarative. Nothing is given outright here. …

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