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ISBN 978-1-909585-04-1
First published March 2015; 248 pp
paperback; 198 x 129 mm

click here to read a pdf excerpt.
Agota Kristof, born in Csikvánd, Hungary, in 1935, became an exile in French-speaking Switzerland in 1956. Working in a factory, she slowly learned the language of her adopted country. Her first novel, Le Grand Cahier (1986; The Notebook), gained international recognition and was translated into more than thirty languages; it was followed by The Proof (La Preuve, 1988) and The Third Lie (Le Troisième Mensonge, 1991), as well as plays and further ­novels. She died in 2011.

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Agota Kristof   2 NOVELS
The Proof
   translated from the French by David Watson
The Third Lie   translated from the French by Marc Romano

The child says, ‘That’s the only difference between the dead and those who go away, isn’t it? Those who aren’t dead will return.’
    Lucas says, ‘But how do we know they aren’t dead when they’re away?’
    ‘We can’t know.’

Following on from The Notebook, which recounted the survival of twin brothers during war and occupation, The Proof and The Third Lie complete the trilogy of novels in which Kristof, as an emigré writer, forged wholly distinctive ways to treat the 20th-century European experience of war, occupation and separation.

As the brothers Claus and Lucas, isolated in different countries, yearn for the seemingly impossible restoration of their lost connection, perspectives shift, memories diverge, identity becomes unstable. Written in Kristof ’s spare, direct style, the novels are an exploration both of the aftereffects of trauma and of the nature of story-telling.

‘At the heart of this acrid trilogy, in all its studied understatement and lack of portentousness, we can feel the author’s slow-burning rage at the wholesale erasure of certainty and continuity in the world of her childhood and adolescence. At the same time we sense Kristof saturninely enjoying this annihilation for its imaginative potential. She will reassemble a shattered world on her own rigorous terms, and watch us wince and shudder in the process.’
    – Jonathan Keates, Times Literary Supplement

From reviews of The Notebook
(published by CBe in 2014: ISBN 9780-9573266-9-9):

‘A stunning, brutal and beautifully written (and translated) book’ – George Szirtes

‘There is a book through which I discovered what kind of a person I really want to be: The Notebook, the first volume of Agota Kristof’s trilogy’
– Slavoj Zizek

‘In its odd, memorable, unique way, The Notebook is a masterpiece.’
– John Self, Asylum

‘I found it profoundly disturbing, incredibly well-written, and very brave. And the fact that it was written by a woman – it has a startling brutality and ferocity about the style that I find very inspiring.’
– Eimear McBride
, The Believer