Autopsy of a Father

208 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 9781942658245


ISBN: 9781942658252

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“Kramer’s novel examines bigotry in the intimate space of family, allowing for a powerfully close look at societal ills.”

World Literature Today

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“In this global, political and social climate, the central ideological topic of [Autopsy of a Father] feels extremely urgent. . . . Throughout, Kramer’s prose is taut and delicately observant.”

Full Stop

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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

Foreword Reviews “Thrillers Top Pick” selection


Excerpt from Autopsy of a Father

Pascale Kramer discusses her novel Autopsy of a Father and the subject of “fear” with fellow women writers at the Red Ink series, via the Literary Hub.

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

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.