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Welcome to the 2015 Politics and Prose Holiday Newsletter. As we have in past years, we’ve tried to select the best—and most beautiful—recent books, fiction and nonfiction, to help you with gift-giving.

It’s also traditional to emphasize how difficult making these choices has been—it’s not just a matter of so many books, but of so many truly wonderful books. This year there’s been an especially impressive outpouring of short fiction and memoirs, but you’ll find bookseller favorites on all subjects here. Enjoy!

Pages

The world of Patrick Modiano is one of loss and displacement. So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24) explores these themes in a slim 155 pages—taking us into the jogged memory of Daragane, a loner and life-long resident of Paris. The novel begins with a telephone call. Gilles Ottolini has recovered Daragane’s misplaced address book, in which he notices a name that also appears in Daragane’s first novel. But Daragane cannot remember the name, or his first novel. When he reads a densely-written dossier compiled by Ottolini, however, he discovers the murder of a distant acquaintance, and becomes immersed in long forgotten memories.  As Daragane reads, he finds himself skipping sentences, enacting the selective and seemingly random way memory works. While this masterful novel has the lightness of a dream, it is deeply affecting, as vivid dreams often are.  Focusing on abandonment—abandonment by one’s memory and the abandonment of loved ones—the book leads to a stunning and painful climax that calls into question the nature of identity itself.

So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood Cover Image
By Patrick Modiano, Euan Cameron (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780544635067
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - September 15th, 2015

So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood Cover Image
By Patrick Modiano, Euan Cameron (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544811867
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 20th, 2016

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