Proust's Overcoat

Proust's Overcoat : The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust

3.54 (382 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$19.99

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

"A rare and wonderfully written book of literary detection that is heartbreaking as well as thrilling."
--Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient



In the tradition of Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman comes Proust's Overcoat by Lorenza Foschini--the charming, endlessly intriguing story of a collector's obsessive search for the personal effects of legendary author Marcel Proust. This fascinating true story introduces readers to a truly delightful character--Jacques Guerin, owner of a perfume company in France--and enthralls them with his relentless lifelong pursuit of all things Proustian, even the author's most mundane possessions.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 128 pages
  • 132.08 x 187.96 x 17.78mm | 249.47g
  • Ecco Press
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0061965677
  • 9780061965678
  • 475,025

Review quote

"Lorenza Foschini's portrait of Guerin and his Proust obsession is delightful, and the objects themselves take on a life of their own and do a jig in this little volume."--Los Angeles Times
show more

Back cover copy

Jacques Guerin was a prominent businessman at the head of his family's successful perfume company, but his real passion was for rare books and literary manuscripts. From the time he was a young man, he frequented the antiquarian bookshops of Paris in search of lost, forgotten treasures. The ultimate prize? Anything from the hands of Marcel Proust.

Guerin identified with Proust more deeply than with any other writer, and when illness brought him by chance under the care of Marcel's brother, Dr. Robert Proust, he saw it as a remarkable opportunity. Shamed by Marcel's extravagant writings, embarrassed by his homosexuality, and offended by his disregard for bourgeois respectability, his family had begun to deliberately destroy and sell their inheritance of his notebooks, letters, manuscripts, furni-ture, and personal effects. Horrified by the destruction, and consumed with desire, Guerin ingratiated himself with Marcel's heirs, placating them with cash and kindness in exchange for the writer's priceless, rare material remains. After years of relentless persuasion, Guerin was at last rewarded with a highly personal prize, one he had never dreamed of possessing, a relic he treasured to the end of his long life: Proust's overcoat.

Proust's Overcoat introduces a cast of intriguing and unforgettable characters, each inspired and tormented by Marcel, his writing, and his orphaned objects. Together they reveal a curious and compelling tale of lost and found, of common things and uncommon desires.
show more

Rating details

382 ratings
3.54 out of 5 stars
5 15% (59)
4 37% (142)
3 36% (139)
2 9% (33)
1 2% (9)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X