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James Wood

American critic, essayist, and novelist

James Wood, the prominent critic, essayist, and novelist, is a professor at Harvard and a staff writer for The New Yorker. Born in Durham, England, he began his career at The Guardian and later became a senior editor at The New Republic. He currently serves on the editorial board of The London Review of Books and The Common in Cambridge, MA. His books include The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel, How Fiction Works, and, most recently, The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays.


Nausea

Fiction by Jean-Paul Sartre

translated by Richard Howard
with a contribution by James Wood

Nausea is the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is horrified at his own existence. In impressionistic, diary form he ruthlessly catalogues his every sensation. His thoughts culminate in a pervasive, overpowering feeling of nausea which “spreads at the bottom of the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time — the time of purple suspenders and broken chair seats; it is made of wide, soft instants, spreading at the edge, like an oil stain.”

Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature (though he declined to accept it), Jean-Paul Sartre — philosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist — holds a position of singular eminence in the world of French letters. La Nausée, his first novel, is a landmark in existentialist fiction and a key work of the twentieth century.