Marcel Proust was born in the Parisian suburb of Auteuil in 1971 to well-to-do parents. As a child he developed severe asthma and was closely watched over by his mother in what became a neurotically dependent relationship (he would live with her until her death when he was 35). Graduating from the prestigious ecole des Sciences Politiques, he worked briefly as a lawyer, but soon became better known as a relentless social climber who wrote occasionally. However, upon the death of his mother--and his inheritance of a fortune worth millions--Proust abandoned high society. Dedicating himself to writing, he retreated into the bedroom of his Paris apartment, which he had lined with cork soundproofing so he could sleep all day and write all night. His reputation, however, clouded his new seriousness, and no one would publish the first installment of his seven-volume, stream-of-consciousness novel "Remembrance of Things Past." (Andre Gide, then an editor at Gallimard, called it too "snobbish.") Proust thereby published it himself to great success. His fame as a modernist master grew with each subsequent installment, but his health simultaneously declined, and the final three volumes were published after his death in 1922 of pneumonia.
Charlotte Mandell has won the Modern Language Association Prize in translation. Among other titles she has translated for The Art of The Novella series are Gustave Flaubert's "A Simple Heart," Guy de Maupassant's "The Horla" and Honore de Balzac's "The Girl with the Golden Eyes."show more