The Black Notebook

A Novel
by Patrick Modiano (Author)
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From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, a writer's notebook unlocks memories of a love formed and lost in 1960s Paris.

In the aftermath of Algeria's war of independence, Paris was a city rife with suspicion and barely suppressed violence. Amid this tension, Jean, a young writer adrift, met and fell for Dannie, an enigmatic woman fleeing a troubled past. A half century later, with his old black notebook as a guide, he retraces this fateful period in his life, recounting how, through Dannie, he became mixed up with a group of unsavory characters connected by a shadowy crime. Soon Jean, too, was a person of interest to the detective pursuing their case—a detective who would prove instrumental in revealing Dannie's darkest secret.

The Black Notebook bears all the hallmarks of this Nobel Prize–winning literary master's unsettling and intensely atmospheric style, rendered in English by acclaimed translator Mark Polizzotti (Suspended Sentences). Once again, Modiano invites us into his unique world, a Paris infused with melancholy, uncertain danger, and the fading echoes of lost love

“A literary…Simenon. An atmospheric, smoky, sepia-toned whodunit, though more for fans of Camus than Chandler.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Modiano’s folklore is set out from the beginning…and sheer magic follows once more.”—Vogue

“The prose—elliptical, muted, eloquent—falls on the reader like an enchantment…No one is currently writing such beautiful tales of loss, melancholy, and remembrance.”—Independent

“Both carefully wrought and superbly fluid, sustained by pure poetry.”—Le Monde

Publication date
September 27, 2016
Page count
Paper ISBN
File size
3 MB
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