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The Prospector

The Prospector

by J.M.G. Le Clézio
Translated by Carol Marks

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Product Details

Verba Mundi

ISBN: 978-0-87923-976-3
Pages: 352
Size: 5.99" x 8.7"
Published: January 1993
ISBN: 978-1-56792-380-3
Pages: 352
Size: 5.5" x 8.5"
Published: November 2008
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Winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature

The Prospector is the crowning achievement from one of France's preeminent contemporary novelists and a work rich with sensuality and haunting resonance. It is the turn of the century on the island of Mauritius, and young Alexis L'Etang enjoys an idyllic existence with his parents and beloved sister: sampling the pleasures of privilege, exploring the constellations and tropical flora, and dreaming of treasure buried long ago by the legendary Unknown Corsair. But with his father's death, Alexis must leave his childhood paradise and enter the harsh world of privation and shame. Years later, Alexis has become obsessed with the idea of finding the Corsair's treasure and, through it, the lost magic and opulence of his youth. He abandons job and family, setting off on a quest that will take him from remote tropical islands to the hell of World War I, and from a love affair with the elusive Ouma to a momentous confrontation with the search that has consumed his life. By turns harsh and lyrical, pointed and nostalgic, The Prospector is "a parable of the human condition" (Le Monde) by one of the most significant literary figures in Europe today.

Le Clezio, who is best known for his Prix Renaudot-winning first novel The Interrogation (1963), has created a gentle portrayal of a man haunted by visions of his ideal childhood. —Publisher's Weekly
Haunting and lyrical, this Bildungsroman of the narrator's search for the lost treasure of the Corsair is near-mythic but has realistic details that bolster its plausibility. . . . Essential for academic and large public libraries. —Library Journal
Le Clezio, one of France's finest writers (The Mexican Dream ), is an incantatory and dazzlingly visual novelist. Le Clezio brilliantly conveys the sublime and terrible beauty of life and its twin, death, in devastating evocations of the pulse of the sea, the blaze of the sun, the horrors of violence, and the miraculous lyricism of the mind. A remarkable work. —Booklist
Often piercingly vivid, and poignant at the close. —Kirkus
[Le Clezio is] author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization. —Nobel Prize Committee
The Prospector offers a wonderful one-volume compendium of all the grand myths rooted in the European colonial experience, combining elements from Paul et Virginie, Robinson Crusoe, and Indiana Jones. . . . Le Clezio has perfected a swift-moving, plain-speaking style, well served in this English translation. —The Washington Post
An entertainment of the highest order that neither diminishes nor insults the intelligence and emotions of the reader. —Chicago Tribune
Le Clézio's prose is so sensual and rhythmic it's hypnotic. —Boston Phoenix
A novel of intense beauty. —Review of Contemporary Fiction
A remarkable work. —Booklist, starred review
J.M.G. Le Clézio

J.M.G. Le Clézio is a French-Mauritian author who was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature. The author of over forty works, Le Clezio won the 1963 Prix Renault for his novel Le Procès-Verbal. The Nobel Prize committee described him as an "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization."