Autopsy of a Father

208 pages


ISBN: 9781942658252

Trade Paper

List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 9781942658245

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“The novel haunts on all levels. . . . Once read, this story is not forgotten.”

Washington Independent Review of Books

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“Emotionally incisive. . . . Based on a true scandal involving a French author and intellectual, Kramer’s haunting story of this disintegrating family is a timely reflection on the anti-immigrant feelings expressed in France and many other countries, including the U.S.”


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“Restrained, powerful. . . . The novel captures the complexity of relationships with great subtlety. . . . Bononno has translated the original French into striking, flowing prose.”

Publishers Weekly

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“[Autopsy of a Father] delves into anti-immigrant sentiment and the resentments that have erupted between newcomers and longtime European residents. It’s fraught, and the violence lurking beneath the surface is palpable. . . . A timely . . . look at the rise of bigotry and the ways racial and ethnic tensions play out in one French community and family.”

Kirkus Reviews

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“Incisive, insightful, and discomfiting. . . . Autopsy of a Father belongs on the shelf next to works by authors like Nadine Gordimer and Magda Szabo. Its psychological investigation of a crumbling intelligentsia and a family fallen from grace is absolutely riveting. Robert Bononno’s translation does great justice to this quiet and unsettling thriller.”

Foreword Reviews

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“[A] deftly translated . . . deftly crafted and inherently fascinating read by an impressively talented novelist. . . . Unreservedly recommended.”

Midwest Book Review

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“Delectable. . . . Autopsy of a Father provides commentary on France’s societal attitudes on race and immigration. This will lead to hours of discussion in itself. I highly recommend this captivating novel.”

Underrated Reads

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When a young woman returns to her childhood home after her estranged father’s death, she begins to piece together the final years of his life. What changed him from a prominent left-wing journalist to a bitter racist who defended the murder of a defenseless African immigrant? Pascale Kramer, recipient of the 2017 Swiss Grand Prize for Literature, exposes a country gripped by intolerance and violence to unearth the source of a family’s fall from grace.

Set in Paris and its suburbs, and inspired by the real-life scandal of a French author and intellectual, Autopsy of a Father blends sharp observations about familial dynamics with resonant political and philosophical questions, taking a scalpel to the racism and anti-immigrant sentiment spreading just beneath the skin of modern society.

Pascale Kramer’s novel Autopsy of a Father is translated from the French by Robert Bononno, who has translated more than two dozen full-length works of fiction and nonfiction from the French and has taught translation at New York University and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is a French-American Foundation Translation Prize finalist and the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. He lives in New York.

Finalist for the La Closerie des Lilas, Ouest-France, and Orange du Livre Prizes


Excerpt from Autopsy of a Father

Congratulations to Pascale Kramer, author of The Child and Autopsy of a Father, who received the 2017 Swiss Grand Prize for Literature, awarded for the her entire body of work by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture.

Read an excerpt from Pascale Kramer’s novel Autopsy of a Father in the Brooklyn Rail.