Alien Hearts

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-12-01
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics
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Alien Heartswas the last novel that Guy de Maupassant completed before succumbing to the effects of tertiary syphilis of which he was to die at forty-three. It is the most original and surprising of his novels and the one in which he attains a truly tragic perception of the wounded human heart.Alien Heartsis the story of lovers bound by bitterness as much as by passion. Maupassant's hero falls for a woman of the world, a glacially dazzling beauty whose past with an abusive husband leads her to hold himand everyoneat arm's length. He seeks solace with a servant girl, but remains racked by pointless infatuation. Richard Howard's new English version of this complex and brooding psychological novel reveals the final, unexpected flowering of the great French realist's art.

Author Biography

Guy de Maupassant (1850—1893), after serving in the Franco-Prussian War, became close friends with Flaubert and his circle. He wrote hundreds of short stories as well as novels and verse. In his later years, he suffered from mental illness, and he died in an asylum.

Richard Howard, a poet, translator, and critic, was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1951 and an M.A. in 1952. A growing interest in modern French poetry led to further graduate study at the Sorbonne from 1952 to 1953. Since 1958, he has translated more than 150 books and has earned recognition as one of the truly authoritative translators of modern French literature. His work reads like a list of France’s leading writers, including Robbe-Grillet, de Beauvoir, Breton, Gide, Camus, Barthes, Reynard, Genet, and Cocteau.

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