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The Belly of Paris (Modern Library Classics)by Emile Zola
Synopses & Reviews
Part of Emile Zolas multigenerational Rougon-Macquart saga, The Belly of Paris is the story of Florent Quenu, a wrongly accused man who escapes imprisonment on Devils Island. Returning to his native Paris, Florent finds a city he barely recognizes, with its working classes displaced to make way for broad boulevards and bourgeois flats. Living with his brothers family in the newly rebuilt Les Halles market, Florent is soon caught up in a dangerous maelstrom of food and politics. Amid intrigue among the markets sellers-the fishmonger, the charcutière, the fruit girl, and the cheese vendor-and the glorious culinary bounty of their labors, we see the dramatic difference between “fat and thin” (the rich and the poor) and how the widening gulf between them strains a city to the breaking point.
Translated and with an Introduction by the celebrated historian and food writer Mark Kurlansky, The Belly of Paris offers fascinating perspectives on the French capital during the Second Empire-and, of course, tantalizing descriptions of its sumptuous repasts.
New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky's deft translation brings new life to Emile Zola's rich characters and stunning depiction of Les Halles, the food markets of 1850s Paris
The Belly of Paris is the dramatic story of Florent Quenu, a convict who has miraculously escaped imprisonment on Devil's Island after being falsely accused of a killing during a political demonstration. Back in Paris after his long confinement, Florent moves in with his brother's family in the newly rebuilt Les Halles market and is soon caught in a dangerous maelstrom of food and politics as the dramatic difference between fat and thin (the rich and the poor) becomes too obvious to ignore.
Mark Kurlansky's introduction celebrates Emile Zola's role as a naturalist, describing his twenty-volume series of Rougon-Macquart novels, and the culinary delights of The Belly of Paris.
About the Author
Emile Zola (1840—1902) was born in Paris and worked as a journalist before turning to fiction. With the publication of LAssommoir, he became the most famous writer in France. His work has influenced authors from August Strindberg to Theodore Dreiser to Tom Wolfe.
Mark Kurlanksy is the New York Times bestselling and James A. Beard Award—winning author of The Last Fish Tale, The Big Oyster, Cod, and Salt, among other books. He has translated numerous pieces from French, Spanish, and Italian for his anthology of food writing Choice Cuts. He lived in Paris for ten years but now resides in New York City.
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