Escape by Dominique Manotti
French crime fiction
Orginal title – l’Evasion
Translators – Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz
Source – Review copy
Modernity signifies the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art of which the other half is the eternal and the immutable.
Charles Baudelaire source
Now for the second book for Women in translation month ,I’m choosing a crime novel for it is one of the few areas of translated fiction you do actually find a few more female writers available and Dominque Manotti is a perfect choice ,she has won the international dagger prize in the past .She was born in Paris ,was a union and political activist in the sixties and since a professor of 19th century economic history in paris .She has published ten novels in France ,her books have also won book prizes in France .
“We part company here ” He places a canvas bag at Filippo’s feet .I’ve put everything I could find in the cars in there for you .Clothes, two sandwiches ,and some money “.Carlo pauses ,Filippo says nothin .” My escape will be in the news ,I think .And they’ll be looking for you ,because you broke out with me .You’ll have to keep a low profile for a while ,until things settle down ”
But did he take Carlo’s advice in the long-term ?
Escape is the story of two men really one living and one now dead they are Carlo the dead leader of the Italian red brigade and Filippo who had escaped with Carlo from prison in Italy ,they were cell mates .Now Filippo has heard his former cell mate who had gone back to get further involved in his red brigade activities after he had escaped has died .On the other had Filippo had travelled north sneaked through the mountain passes between France and Italy ,were he eventually ends up with the help of political refugees and activists in France in Paris where he gets a job as a security guard at night .He decides to remember all that Carlo had told him whilst doing his job at night and try to make sense of why his friend had died .The writings are quite good and with some pushing from his landlady he is advised to make it a fiction book .But what happened to Carlo and his friend want Filippo to help them find out .
L’univers des livres ,review by Jeanne Champaud
A few days ago ,the publisher of Escape ,the novel by Filippo Zuliani that will be appearing in bookshops this week ,gave me a copy of the proofs saying ,”Read these .I think you’ll be surprised ” I was .And I’m prepared to bet that I won’t be the only one ,and that we’ll be hearing about this novel when the literary prize season is upon us this autumn .
Well it had more of an impact than that !!
Now this book takes the old escape story and adds a few twists and turns too it .Of course the politics loom large at times ,with Manotti history of activism you feel what she writes about the inner working and way the red brigade operates rings true .I was reminded at times of Schlinks novel the weekend which of course follows friends through the aftermath of the RAF .The story of the two former cell mates is one of paths we take in life one takes the high road to Paris and the other the low road to Milan so to speak .The book also touches that field of fiction /true life crime that has grown over the years ,I was reminded of the Italian writer Massimo Carlotto who of course in his own book the Fugitive recounts his own escape from an Italian prison .The book is well translated has a fast paces I read it in two sittings and was drawn into Filippo’s world and his history with Carlo .
Have you read any book by Dominique Manotti ?