“Wandering Star is a luminous lesson in humanity amid the ruins of civilization and intelligence.”—Le Figaro
“Wandering Star can unquestionably be ranked among the very great novels. This is true not only because of the precision and evocative power of the writing, the subtlety and balance of the construction, the magnitude and loftiness of the subject, but also because of the stature and the trajectory of the protagonist, Esther Greve, who survives the Holocaust only to be confronted in the land of her dreams with another tragedy.”—L’ Humanité
"Those unfamiliar with Mr. Le Clézio and his work should know that he is considered that rare beast by the French: an artist and a best-selling author."—Dallas Morning News
"This novel brilliantly depicts the universality of human suffering, but it also affirms the existence of kindness and understanding...Le Clézio rises above politics and religious and cultural differences to express the girls' humanity in the struggles they both face."—MultiCultural Review
"...the beauty of Le Clézio's language belies the horror of his subject...We can only hope that Esther and Nejma might someday walk out of these pages, meet once more, and plant and nourish the garden that others battle so feverishly to destroy."—Bloomsbury Review
"Striking a delicate balance between despair and dignity, between incantation and prayer, in [Wandering Star], Le Clézio touches upon each of the many themes he has addressed during his thirty years as a novelist, mixing and weaving them together into a story that combines elements of adventure, literary epic, confession, and history. It is at one and the same time a painful cry and peaceful sigh."—Télérama
"From page one, I knew I was in capable hands. J.M.G. Le Clézio's novel of a young Jewish girl coming of age in wartime France is compelling."—Baltimore Jewish Times
"Beautifully written and seamlessly translated by C. Dickson, Wandering Star is both a coming-of-age story and a powerful tale of survival. For readers hoping to better understand the world we live in, this book also helpt shed light on current events in the Middle East."—MoorishGirl
"Le Clézio goes beyond politics, cultural differences, and historical moments to cast light on the universal feelings in experiences of suffering and the struggles, desires, and dreams growing out of such experiences."—Midwest Book Review
"Le Clézio has fashioned an intimate, searching novel about the price of war and exile."—Stewart O'Nan
"[An] exquisitely written story...I was struck by the beauty in the midst of the searing pain."—Penny Rosenwasser, author of Voices from a Promised Land
J.M.G. Le Clezio is that rare combination of best-selling author and artist of the highest order. Wandering Star (A Lannan Translation Selection) received extraordinary critical praise in France. Pierre Lepape extolled it in Le Monde, noting that Le Clezio neither moralizes nor takes a political stance: “He goes much farther than that, much deeper; he seeks the signs of human misery and of potential peace at the very heart of life, in a confrontation with time and the elements; with the sun and the earth, with birth and death, with the mystery of origins and the enigma of the future, with the necessity of both remembering and forgetting, without which nothing can be healed."
Wandering Star tells two discrete stories of two young girls, one Jewish and one Palestinian, who meet once briefly by chance. Their stories are connected by substance, rather than plot. Each is a wandering star in search of a homeland—Esther escaping the Nazi Holocaust, and Nejma, who experiences the horrors of life in the camps. Yet through this novel of dark times and human suffering, affirmation shines as the characters encounter the beauty of nature and instances of human kindness and love.
Author of over thirty novels, essays, story collections, and translations, J.M.G. Le Clezio and his wife share their time between Albuquerque, New Mexico, the island of Mauritius, and Nice, France. He is the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature.
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J.M.G. Le ClÃ©zio is a distinguished French author with over 30 novels, essays, and story collections to his credit. Since the 1990s, Le ClÃ©zio and his wife have shared their time between Albuquerque, New Mexico, the island of Mauritius, and Nice, France. He is the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature.From Booklist :
Internationally acclaimed French novelist Le Clezio is a bewitching storyteller with a penchant for tales of survival that are at once acutely realistic and mythically romantic. In his latest hauntingly lyrical yet clear-eyed and worldly novel, he tells the story of two young women uprooted by the Holocaust and the establishment of the state of Israel. Esther and her parents are hiding from the Germans in a mountain village where the children run wild and grow strong while the adults risk their lives in the Resistance movement. Esther survives and, after much suffering, embarks on an arduous journey to Jerusalem. But as she and her fellow exhausted travelers finally near their promised land, they pass a stream of equally despairing, newly displaced refugees, among them Nejma, a Palestinian girl. Nejma then chronicles the misery of a gravely ill-provisioned camp and her heroic escape. Exquisitely attuned to nature's quest for balance and humanity's penchant for excess and paradox, Le Clezio writes with high compassion and deep wonder of the boundless strength of the spirit. Donna Seaman
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