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Raymond Queneau (1903 - 1976)

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  •  Raymond Queneau was born in Normandy in 1903 and studied at the Sorbonne before military service and a career working for the Gallimard publishing house. A novelist, philosopher, poet, mathematician and translator, he was a leading figure in twentieth-century French literary life, a prolific writer whose work touches on many of the major cultural movements of his time, from Surrealism to the experimental writing of the nouveau roman. In 1959 he published his best-known work, the novel Zazie dans le métro, which was a popular success both as a book and in the film adaptation by Louis Malle. In 1960 Queneau co-founded the ‘Workshop for Potential Literature’ or OuLiPo, a group of writers and scientists exploring the interactions between mathematics and literary forms.The group has included among its members Italo Calvino, Georges Perec and Harry Mathews, and still thrives today. Queneau died in 1976.

    Philip Terry was born in Belfast in 1962. He has taught at the universities of Caen, Plymouth and Essex, where he is currently Director of Creative Writing. His fiction, poetry and translations have been widely published in journals in Britain and America. His books include the celebrated anthology of short stories Ovid Metamorphosed (2000), Fables of Aesop (2006) and the poetry collection Oulipoems (2006).

    David Bellos is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. A distinguished critic and translator, he is the author of the first biography of Georges Perec and Perec’s foremost English translator. He has received many honours and prizes for his work, including the first Man Booker International Translator’s Award in 2005.

    'Philip Terry has done noble service in providing us with his expert rendition of Raymond Queneau's ultimate and enthralling book. English-readers can now revel in its exploration like travellers discovering an unimaginable land of uncanny wonders, its mystery and poetry lastingly intact.'
    Harry Mathews
    'This book changed Parisians' view of their city and fertilised French poetry as few others have. A book of daydreaming and flânerie, it's absolutely worth hitting the poems' pavement, getting the lay of its loopy land, and sailing away.'
    Paul Fournel
    'I promise you'll love this, especially if you love Paris.'
    Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
    Awards won by Raymond Queneau (1903 - 1976) Winner, 2005 Man Booker International Translator'€™s Award
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