Alyson Waters

Alyson Waters has translated books by Vassilis Alexakis, Louis Aragon, René Belletto, Réda Bensmaia, Albert Cossery, and Tzvetan Todorov. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a PEN Translation Fund Grand, a residency grant from the Centre national du livre, and was twice a translator in residence at the Villa Gillet in Lyon, France. She teaches literary translation in the French Department of Yale University, is the managing editor of Yale French Studies, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The Colors of Infamy

Fiction by Albert Cossery

Translated from the French by Alyson Waters

Ossama is a thief, but a tasteful, well-mannered, easy-smiling one. His eyes sparkle and his sartorial taste is impeccable. His country may be in shambles, but he’s a hedonist convinced that “nothing on this earth is tragic for an intelligent man.” By matching the style of the privelged class, he can avoid the suspicious gaze of the police, and so he lazily glides around the cafés of Cairo, seeking his prey.…
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A Splendid Conspiracy

Fiction by Albert Cossery

Translated from the French by Alyson Waters

Summoned home to Egypt after a long European debauch (disguised as “study”), our hero Teymour – in the opening line of A Splendid Conspiracy – is feeling “as unlucky as a flea on a bald man’s head.” Poor Teymour sits forlorn in a provincial café, a far cry from his beloved Paris. Two old friends, however, rescue him. They applaud his phony diploma as perfect in “a world where everything is false” and they draw him into their hedonistic rounds as gentlemen of leisure.…
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