176 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 9781942658788


ISBN: 9781942658795

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“A singular novel. Aseroë’s storyteller speaks from within the grasp of mysterious and urgent preoccupations. Yet his confident narration, rich in colorful, familiar detail, and sensitively and gracefully rendered into English by master translator Richard Sieburth, assures us of his obsessions’ importance to him and, within his brilliant and bizarrely convincing world, increasingly to us.”

Lydia Davis, author of Can’t and Won’t and Essays One

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“Fiercely original.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Full of wonder. . . . Aseroë is a lyrical contemplation of how words affect reality.”

Foreword Reviews

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“What a wonderful piece of writing! What an exhilarating adventure! What a madcap exploration of mushrooms, paintings, Rimbaud, the legend of Orpheus, and the mazes of a poet’s mind, in a jigsaw puzzle of a book that ultimately (like Alice’s Wonderland) makes absolute sense!”

Alberto Manguel, author of The Library at Night and Fabulous Monsters: Dracula, Alice, Superman, and Other Literary Friends

“This over-the-top, extraordinary novel, in its no less stupendous translation, begins with a mycological intimacy that brings to mind the great mushroom scenes of the film Phantom Thread. How not to be aroused by this whopping treat of verbal virtuosity?”

Mary Ann Caws, author of The Modern Art Cookbook and Creative Gatherings: Meeting Places of Modernism

“An immensely pleasurable read.”

Pascal Quignard, Prix Goncourt award–winning author of The Roving Shadows

“In this book oblivion is daylight.”

Éric Vuillard, Prix Goncourt award–winning author of The Order of the Day

“[An] enigmatic and radiant book.”

Maurice Blanchot

“A book filled to the gills with a veritable feast of literary ingredients. To read Aseroë is to experience a kind of inebriation as we drink in the intelligence and the talent of its author.”

Marie Étienne, La Quinzaine Littéraire

“Ranging from the mysterious mushroom known by the name of Aseroë to Giorgione’s painting The Tempest, while meditating on the millions made off the work of Rimbaud, [Aseroë] offers a series of astonishing and detailed variations on the theme of the figures of forgetfulness.”

Claire Devarieux, Libération

“Strange and glorious. . . . This slim novel is a challenging, thought-provoking adventure, perfect for fans of Haruki Murakami and Franz Kafka.”

Cindy Pauldine, River’s End Bookstore (Oswego, NY)

“Bewildering and unsettling. . . . This is the sort of book that will transform completely behind your back from one reading to the next.”

Douglas Riggs, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT)

“Amateur mycologists rejoice, we finally have our own Orchid Thief and it’s weird as hell.”

Sid S., Type Books (Toronto, ON)

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Aseroë, the mushroom, as object of fascination. First observed in Tasmania and South Africa, it appeared suddenly in France around 1920. It is characterized by its stench and, at maturity, its grotesque beauty.

Aseroë, the word, as incantation. Can a word create a world? It does, here. François Dominique is a conjurer, who through verbal sorcery unleashes the full force of language, while evoking the essential rupture between the word and the object. An impossible endeavor, perhaps, but one at the very heart of literature.

The narrator of Aseroë wanders medieval streets and dense forests, portrait galleries, and rare bookshops. As he explores the frontiers of language, the boundaries of science, art, and alchemy melt away, and the mundane is overtaken by the bizarre. Inhabited by creatures born in darkness, both terrible and alluring, Aseroë is ultimately a meditation on memory and forgetting, creation, and oblivion.

Aseroë is translated from the French by Richard Sieburth and Howard Limoli.

Big Other Book Award Finalist

World Literature Today “Notable Translations of the Year” selection

Foreword Reviews “Book of the Day” selection

Literary Hub “Booksellers Recommend: The Best Under-the-Radar Books of the Year” selection

Seminary Co-op Bookstores “Holiday Gift Guide” selection

Brookline Booksmith “We Love Indie Publishers” selection

River’s End Bookstore Staff Pick

Type Book Staff Pick


Excerpt from Aseroë