The Bathroom

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Dalkey Archive Press, 2008 - Fiction - 102 pages

First published in France in 1985, The Bathroom was Jean-Philippe Toussaint's debut novel, and it heralded a new generation of innovative French literature. In this playful and perplexing book, we meet a young Parisian researcher who lives inside his bathroom. As he sits in his tub meditating on existence (and refusing to tell us his name), the people around him -his girlfriend, Edmondsson, the Polish painters in his kitchen-- each in their own way further enables his peculiar lifestyle, supporting his eccentric quest for immobility. But an invitation to the Austrian embassy shakes up his stable world, prompting him to take a risk and leave his bathroom . . .

"An original and significant writer, whose fiction can be as engaging as it is surprising." The Times Literary Supplement

"Toussaint is a genuinely funny writer . . . small erotic moments are captured perfectly . . . makes me long for more by Toussaint." Kirkus Review

"The combination of the absurd and the conscious intellect recalls such other French-language writers as Raymond Queneau in a style that is elegant, erudite, and joyously superficial. "Publishers Weekly


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jonfaith - LibraryThing

"Immobility is not absence of movement but absence of any prospect of movement." The above observation lies three-quarters of the way through The Bathroom, just before the quasi-authorial ruminations ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Hagelstein - LibraryThing

A young Belgian researcher in Paris strains his relations with his girlfriend and parents by remaining in his apartment bathroom. He emerges into the apartment itself, then bolts to Venice, where he ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Jean-Philippe Toussaint is the author of nine novels, and the winner of numerous literary prizes, including the Prix Decembre for "The Truth about Marie". His writing has been compared to the works of Samuel Beckett, Jacques Tati, the films of Jim Jarmusch, and even Charlie Chaplin.

Nancy Amphoux has translated many books, including The Wind from America by Claude Manceron, Tolstoy by Henri Troyat, and Cambodia Year Zero by François Ponchaud.

In addition to his work as a translator, Paul De Angelis has been anEditor, Editorial Director, or Editor-in-Chief at such publishinghouses as St. Martin's Press, E.P. Dutton, and Kodansha America.

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