Mark Polizzotti

Mark Polizzotti

Mark Polizzotti

Mark Polizzotti’s books include the collaborative novel S. (1991), Lautréamont Nomad (1994), Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton (FSG, 1995), Luis Buñuel’s Los Olvidados (British Film Institute, 2006), and Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (Continuum, 2006). His articles and reviews have appeared in The New Republic, ARTnews, The Nation, Parnassus, Partisan Review, and elsewhere. The translator of over thirty books from the French, including works by Gustave Flaubert, Marguerite Duras, Raymond Roussel, André Breton, and Jean Echenoz, he has been an editor at Random House, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, David R. Godine, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He currently directs the publications program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

cover image of the book The Three Fates

The Three Fates

by Linda Lê

Translated by Mark Polizzotti

The three fates – now three Vietnamese “princesses” in France – were spirited away as little children by their powerful grandmother when Saigon fell to the communists. Now the two sisters and their cousin await the arrival of their father and uncle, still marooned in his little blue house in the old country. “Leave King Lear alone, I’d told my cousins,” our principal narrator (an intellectual who has lost a hand) informs us: “They had neglected him for twenty years and now they were conspiring like a pair of Cordelias to bestow one last joy on the old monarch: he hadn’t asked for it.” From a luxurious home in the French countryside, his two daughters (the elder, very pregnant and restlessly cooking and eating, kept company by her long-legged and icy younger sister) plot to drag their father halfway around the world – away from his poverty and from his only friend and the grilled eels they happily devour together – to flaunt their success. Scathingly unsentimental, The Three Fates transposes Shakesperean tragedy into a contemporary idiom and a decidedly different culture. A sharply vivacious book about “the bitch of fate,” The Three Fates – like a witches’ pot on the boil – brews up from displaced lives a darkly funny and agitated concatenation.

More Information
Scroll to Top of Page