All My Friends

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UPC: 9781931883238
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Authors: Marie NDiaye (Author), Jordan Stump (Translator)
  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lines Press; Reprint edition (June 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931883238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931883238
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches

A moody and beautiful reflection on relationships, and how our idea of the world too often fails to match reality, All My Friends delivers five stories that probe the boundaries between individuals to mediate on how well we really know anybody, including ourselves. Written in hypnotic prose with characters both fully fleshed and unfathomable, All My Friends opens with the fraught love story of a man who has fallen for his housekeeper, his student of many years ago. Losing his grip as he feels his own family turning against him, he plots romance between the housekeeper and an old friend, whom he thinks is perfect for her. Later NDiaye gives us the harsh tale of a young boy longing to escape his life of poverty by becoming a sex slave—just like the beautiful young man that lived next door. And when a woman takes her mentally challenged son on a bus ride to the city, they both know that she’ll return, but he won’t. Chilling, provocative, and touching, this is an unflinching look at the personal horrors we fight every day to suppress—but in All My Friends they’re allowed to roam free.

About the Authors

Marie NDiaye is the recipient of the Prix Femina and the Prix Goncourt, the highest honor a French writer can receive. She is the author of over a dozen plays and works of prose, including Trois femmes puissantes, published as Three Strong Women by FSG in 2012. She lives in Paris.

Jordan Stump is a two-time nominee for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He has translated books by Nobel laureate Claude Simon, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Eric Chevillard, and many others. He lives in Lincoln, NE.


"NDiaye, who received France's most prestigious literary prize for Three Powerful Women and may be that nation's most startling new literary voice, brings to life an electrifying rogue's gallery of social outcasts, disgruntled wives, and loony strivers. . . . Stump's perfectly calibrated translation captures the rich timbre and fearsome bite of NDiaye's chiseled prose."
— Publishers Weekly

"A superb short story collection. . . . Her oneiric tales suggest a necessary truth about contemporary life that explains why she is increasingly—and justly—recognized as a major world writer." — Rain Taxi Review of Books

"Woah. These stories are not linked, but the emotional force that pervades them is so consistent you feel that Marie NDiaye's fantastic characters belong together. This book is a world." — SF Weekly

"[NDiaye's] is a unique voice among other contemporary French writers, and her fictional vision both intricate and distinctive. She is an example of exactly the kind of non-Anglophone writer who should have already been translated in full. Hopefully, this new translation will renew interest in her work, prompt further translations and give English readers the chance to experience her entire contribution to world letters."
— The Rumpus

"All five of the stories that make up this slim book are masterful. . . . NDiaye creates a portable unease that slips from one story to the next, never losing its force, or its accusatory tone—You don't see anything? You ought to see something."
— The Collagist