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The Fool and Other Moral Tales
Fiction by Anne Serre
Translated from the French by Mark Hutchinson
From the brilliant, sui generis Anne Serre—author of the celebrated Governesses—come three delicious, thoroughly out-of-the-way tales.
Fairy-tale atmospheres and complex narratives are a hallmark of the fiction of Anne Serre, represented here by three radically heterodox novellas. The Fool may have stepped out of a tarot pack: “I came across this little figure rather late in life. Not being familiar with playing cards, still less with the tarot, I was a bit uncomfortable when I first set eyes on him. I believe in magic figures and distrust them—a figure observing you can turn the world upside down.” The Narrator concerns a sort of writer-hero: “Outcasts who can’t even tell a story are what you might call dropouts, lunatics, misfits. With them the narrator is in his element, but has one huge advantage: he can tell a story.” The Wishing Table—a moral tale concerning a family happily polyamorous—is the most overtly a fable of these three works, the most naughty, and the briefest, but thin as a razor is thin. A dream logic rules each of these wildly unpredictable, sensual, and surreal novellas: these may be romps, but they are nevertheless deeply moral and entirely unforgettable ones.