following descriptions are not intended to be "summaries", but rather invitations
to read...Many of the books are available (in French, because translations
are scarce), at online bookshops (just follow the links).
Brûlebois, novel available at
Glorious picture of the magnificient ambition of drinking. Brûlebois, the kindly alcoholic, pursues his extraordinary destiny of drinker, fully aware of what he is doing and till martyrdom.
Back and forth (Aller-retour), novel available at
The devil's twins (Les Jumeaux du Diable) , novel available at
The table of Corpses (La table aux crevés),novel available at
Amélie Coindet hanged herself ; her husband, Urbain, discovered her body as he returned from the Dôle fair. This is the news that spreads in the village of Cantagrel. During the wake, her father proposes one of his other daughters to his son-in-law. As he boldly declines the proposal, the husband becomes the man to shoot...
The Street Without a Name (La rue sans nom), novel available at
People living in a sad street where houses are going to be destroyed are puzzled by a beautiful girl coming, whose father is a former prisoner.
The Good-for-nothing (Le Vaurien), novel available at
The Well of Images (Le Puits aux images) available at
The Green Mare (La Jument verte), novel available at
A chronicle of the Claquebue village at the end of French Second Empire , The Green Mare describes the opposition between two families : the Haudoins and the Malorets. Haudouin raised horses. He was ambitious but unlucky. Then one day, a pretty green mare was born at his stable. This started the financial and social rise of the Haudouin family. One day, the mare died, but remained in the form of a painting made by an artist with strange powers : he had roused a "mysterious, half human life" in her, giving her the opportunity to closely observe the intimacy of the family and to analyze its erotic predispositions, transmitted from a generation to the next.
The Dwarf (Le nain), short stories available at
The Wonderful Farm (Les contes du chat perché), short stories available at
Delphine and Marinette, two little girls, live on a traditional farm deeply rooted in rural France. Their parents are tough and down-to-earth, and the animals have much to say...
The Low House (Maison basse), novel available at
description of the relationships of a group of Parisian neighbors who
live in the same building. The characters include a teacher absorbed by
his readings ; his daughter, who is frightened of her first feelings of
romantic passion ; a depressed engineer ; and a sentimental
communist. The book depicts how their interaction focuses on the low house
The Mill on the Sourdine (Le Moulin de la Sourdine) , novel available at
notary's young, honest servant was killed. Will a generous policeman be
able to avoid a miscarriage of justice ? A novel set in a small provincial
Gustalin, novel available at
Behind Martin's Place (Derrière chez Martin), short stories available at
The Silhouette of Scandal (Silhouette du scandale) , essay available at
The Clandestine Beef (Le boeuf clandestin) , novel available at
This is a usual Sunday for the Berthaud family , filled with expected events and boring hours. But as Roberte comes back home to take a book she has forgotten, she discovers with horror her vegetarian father sitting in the kitchen, devouring a raw steak...A zoom in on the everyday manners of the upper-middle-class in Paris, set in 17th arrondissement, near Place Monceau.
The Beautiful Picture (La belle image) available at
Travelingue, novel available at
The Sorceress (La Vouivre), novel available at
Muselier is the boy of the farm, courageous, but hardly ever speaking.
One day, he meets the Vouivre, a fabulous creature of legends in the Jura
region. She is a beautiful, immortal girl, who can charm snakes and bathes
naked in lakes. He becomes her lover , disregarding the ruby she leaves
within reach of the passerby : and rightly so, for the instant the ruby
were stolen, the snakes would come from everywhere and punish this
The Man Who Walked Through Walls (Le Passe-Muraille), short stories available at
The Schoolboy Way (Le chemin des écoliers), novel available at
In Paris during the occupation, Michaud and Lolivier, partners and friends, try to understand their teenage sons. Antoine Michaud plays truant to take part in shadly deals and spend time with Yvette, a war prisonner's wife. Tony, Lolivier's son, tortures animals and human beings and ends up a killer.
The Wine of Paris (Le vin de Paris), short stories available at
A collection of short stories about the Occupation period. Three major subjects are covered : black market, malnourishment and assassination. It contains two exceptional original stories : "The Rich Painting", featuring a painter with the gift of producing "fulfilling paintings" ; "the State of Grace", describing the life of a man wearing a light halo , of which he desperatly tries to rid himself.
Uranus, novel available at
The scene takes place in a French village, shortly after the war. Personal revenges, political activism and nepotism cause relationships between the characters to become passionate and somewhat violent.
Lucienne and the Butcher (Lucienne et le boucher) , theater play available at
kind, sensitive butcher tries to find Love. He meets Lucienne, who turns
out to be an awful shrew who uses a language that is beyond spicy.
The Comfort of the Mind (Le confort intellectuel),essay available at
A fictitious interview of an upper-middle-class man suspicious of the bad influences literature is having on the French bourgeoisie. Marcel Aymé reports the moral and literary theories of the fictitious Mr Lepage, who accuses his class, the bourgeoisie, of declining through an excess of romantism, an absence of logic, a compulsive taste for fantasy and a fear of ridicule. The book was coldly received by critics, who failed to draw the line between Marcel Aymé's and Mr Lepage's opinions.
Going Behind (En arrière) available at
Clérambard, theater play available at
by creditors", the Count of Clérambard is desperate to keep his
mansion. He assigns his family to hard labor and a destitute way
of life : namely knitting pull-overs and eating cat. The priest suggests
the possibility of that the Count's son might be able to marry for money.
The prospective bride, Evelyne, is the elder daughter of Master Galuchon.
But this would mean accepting an uncle who is a "hardware dealer". Unwillingly,
everyone seems to agree, when Saint Francis of Assisi appears to the Count
and makes him confront his life...
Vogue la galère*, theater play available at
A number of convicts are on a galley with Lazare, a protestant gentleman who refused to recant. Lazare tries to set his shipmates free. But unchaining them, he also unchains their instincts.
* This is a French expression meaning "alea jacta est". "Voguer" is to sail and "galère" is galley, so literally it translates to "let the galley sail".
Other People's Heads (La tête des autres), theater play available at
Prosecutor Maillard, to the great joy of his acquaintances - among them his mistress Roberte and her husband, Prosecutor Bertolier - , has just gotten a convict sentenced to death without evidence, due to his sheer eloquence. But the condemned man, Valorin, escapes and arrives to disturb their evening , claiming his innocence. He has a good alibi at that : the night of the crime, he was in bed with Roberte Bertolier...
Les quatre vérités, theater play
The Salem Witches (Les sorcières de Salem) , adapted from the American play by A. Miller. available at
The Moon Birds (Les oiseaux de lune), theater play available at
by dint of reading novels, gained the ability to change into birds
and vaporize annoying people. A power that only lasts, alas, for a month...
Blue Fly (La mouche bleue), theater play available
A View from the Bridge (Vu du pont), adapted from the American play by A. Miller. available at
Other People's Heads, new version, theater available at
The Drawers of The Unknown Man (Les tiroirs de l'inconnu), novel available at
Martin is 28 when he leaves jail where he was imprisoned for a murder he was unaware of committing. He has been invited to stay with the beautiful Tatiana, but he would rather stay with his brother Michel, even though he has to share a bed with his former fiancée Valérie, who already granted her favors to both brothers before the crime. After being hired by the big shot Lormier, Martin finds in the drawers of the office the hand-written story of an insignificant lout. Inquiring further, Martin ponders the meaning of love ...
Louisiane, theater play available at
The Maxibules (Les Maxibules), theater play available at
Florence Donnadieu, her brother Jean-Pierre and her beautiful, sensual sister Yolande, are the three inheritors of the Maxibule industrial empire. Ludovic, Florence's husband, wants to put his love for his wife to the test , so he leaves on a journey to the far end of the earth. Florence, with the help of Célestin, the concierge's son, tries to find him back.
La consommation, theater play available at
The Wall Cupboard (Le placard), theater play
The Night of Iguana (La nuit de l'iguane) , adapted from the American play by T. Williams. available at
Mexico, in the summer of 1940, the Reverend Larry Shannon, a tour guide
for a very bad travel company, brings a group of women to the Costa Verde
hotel. It is his last trip. The women hate him, for along the way, he
slept with Charlotte, the youngest of them. Shannon is on the verge of
breaking down. Costa Verde is the refuge where he comes for shelter during
each crisis in his unstable life.
The Belzébir Convention (La convention Belzébir), theater play available at
Each man is obliged to kill his neighbour, but must abide by a strict murder code. The cunjunction between a rigid law and the constant demand for death reveals, through inversion, our typical conception of human relations and the weakness of our so-called civilization.
Strides (Enjambées) available at
The Minotaur (Le Minotaure), theater playavailable at
The Sherif's Daughter (La fille du shérif), short stories
Posthumous collection of short stories, compiled by Michel Lecureur.