Mon amie américaine /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Halberstadt, Michèle, author.
Uniform title:Mon amie américaine. English
Imprint:New York : Other Press, [2016]
Description:160 pages ; 20 cm
Subject:Female friendship -- Fiction.
FICTION / Contemporary Women.
FICTION / Literary.
FICTION / Psychological.
Female friendship.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Benderson, Bruce, translator.
ISBN:9781590517598 (paperback)
1590517598 (paperback)
9781590517604 (e-book)
Summary:"When two colleagues become close friends they believe their friendship will last forever, but when one of them suffers a devastating illness, the bond between them is stretched to a breaking point. Two women are film industry colleagues and very close friends. Molly is a charismatic and dynamic Manhattan businesswoman until, at the age of forty, she has a brain aneurysm and falls into a month-long coma. Frightened and debilitated, she is a shadow of her former self. Michèle, her Parisian friend, must grapple with these changes as she contemplates the nature of her relationship with a now-unrecognizable Molly. Is the bond the same when everything you once loved about a person has changed? What becomes of a friendship you once thought was unbreakable? Author Michèle Halberstadt explores the guilt that arises from these questions with grace and sensitivity"--
Review by New York Times Review

What happens to the trans-Atlantic friendship between two women who share the same sense of humor and the same career (in the film industry), often travel together on business and cherish each other as best friends when one of them nearly dies and returns from her ordeal changed, diminished, other? That's Halberstadt's question, and her answer isn't reassuring. Written as a first-person journal/love letter to "you" (Molly, the American) by her amie française, the novel, translated by Bruce Benderson, narrates their past exploits, the rituals of their relationship and their gradual loss of a life in common. "Mon Amie Américaine" recalls Amy Hempel's splendid short story "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried," whose first-person narrator loses her best friend to cancer. Incapable of fully showing up for the person she loves (in this, she resembles Halberstadt's narrator), paralyzed with guilt and fear, Hempel's protagonist wins us nonetheless with her fluency in "the language of grief," her wit and her searing clarity. The French poet René Char has written, "Lucidity is the wound closest to the sun." It's a wound Halberstadt's two women lack in any depth, which might just have transformed them and, along with them, the reader. NANCY KLINE'S most recent book is a translation (with Mary Ann Caws) of "'Earth Absolute' and Other Texts," by Lorand Gaspar.

Copyright (c) The New York Times Company [September 14, 2016]
Review by New York Times Review