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Our Lady of the Flowers, by Jean Genet

Our Lady of the Flowers, by Jean Genet

Grove Atlantic9780802130136

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The infamous playwright, poet, novelist, and criminal, Jean Genet, was born December 19th, 1910, in France. Genet’s mother, who was a young prostitute at the time of his birth, gave him up for adoption to a provincial family. By the age of fifteen, for repeated misdemeanors, Genet was incarcerated for three years, after which he joined the French Foreign Legion. He was dishonorably discharged for “lewd acts”, henceforth spending the next several years traveling around Europe, at times as a prostitute. In 1937 he came to Paris, where again he was arrested and imprisoned for vagabondage. It was in prison, though, that Genet personally funded his first novel Our Lady of the Flowers (1944).

“A cry of rapture and horror . . . the purest lyrical genius.” –The New York Times

“A matchless contemporary classic. . . . Like Ulysses in its own day, so creatively formidable that any comment on its merit becomes at once presumptuous.” –Terry Southern

“Genet has taken a tabooed subject and created a world that is out of this world. He is a magician, an enchanter of the first order.” –Richard Wright

“Only a handful of twentieth century writers, such as Kafka and Proust, have as important, as authoritative, as irrevocable a voice and style.” –Susan Sontag

“Incredible, appalling, thrilling, disturbing, offbeat, eloquent, violently crude, yet compelling. Reflects, as no other book of our time, the lower depths of human existence.” –Boston Herald
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