The Mirabelle Pickers
(Anvil Press Poetry, June 2013)
In this beautifully translated memoir Jacques Réda chooses the height of the mirabelle season in Lorraine for a long-delayed visit to his home town, Lunéville. For France’s distinguished poète flâneur – motorized for such occasions on his antiquated Solex moped – the fragrant allure of plums marks the start of a series of impressions, encounters and musings that will take us in eight chapters from Friday Evening to Tuesday Morning, through a remembered topography that has largely shaped a lifetime’s writing. Réda retraces childhood routes – scrupulously avoiding, at first, the street where he lived – and renews acquaintances along the way. These encounters convey vivid particulars while at the same time registering the visitor’s preoccupation – often whimsical – with the passing of the years and their inevitable end-point.
‘He is indisputably one of the most invigorating French writers’ – John Taylor
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