Thoughtfully curated in English by New Directions with a scholarly and rigorous afterword by translator Lydia Davis, the letters are inflected by fine observations and moments of deep empathy. They are suffused with the intimate textures of daily life—flowers and fragrance—and allow us an insight into the larger social context of the time, with reports of the wounded returning from war. Thematically, they are often concerned with art, poetry, and ruins. As a collection, they obliquely chart the passing of seasons as well as the publication history of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.
—The Village Voice
Letters to His Neighbor, brilliantly translated by Lydia Davis, is inadvertently hilarious in hyper-genteel poise; we see Proust at his most desperate, charming to the extreme, an effect no doubt amplified by Davis’s elegant prose.
—The Times Literary Supplement
If you have suffered from noisy neighbours, you will sympathize with Marcel Proust.
A trove of charming correspondence from literature’s most famous ‘noise phobic.’
—Evan Lavender-Smith, HTMLGiant
Proust whining rhapsodically about the sounds of frolicking children on the other side of his bedroom wall, as translated by Lydia Davis—what’s not to love here?
Lydia Davis’s translation gives one a feeling similar to that of encountering an old master painting that has just been cleaned. Exhilarating.
—Claire Messud, Newsday
A sensitive and direct translation. Lydia Davis does us a great service in bringing back Proust.