May 23 2022

A Colette for Our Times
Tash Aw

Tash Aw reviews Colette's Chéri and The End of Chéri, newly translated by Rachel Careau.

"Rachel Careau’s meticulous and agile translation of this pair of novels brings to Anglophone readers some of Colette’s finest writing, rich in the sensuality for which she is widely known — but also in the sharpness of her social observations, so ahead of her time that they come across as radical even by contemporary standards. Above all, Careau captures the technicality of Colette’s prose. She manages shifts in mood and characterization as well as the complexity of Colette’s sentences — sometimes terse, sometimes richly metaphoric — and she does so in a way that feels at once faithful to the author’s era and utterly timeless."

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