Guiding us through a literary labyrinth of writers, artists and misfits – The Irish Times

December 16, 2021 by No Comments

French writer Angélique Villeneuve is the author of several books, but Winter Flowers (Peirene Press, £12) is the first to be translated into English. It’s set in Paris during the first World War where Jeanne, a flower maker, scrapes a meagre living while awaiting news of her husband, Toussaint, who was enlisted as part of a mass mobilisation in August 1914. After months of silence, he finally returns with a disfiguring facial injury. He is a changed man – silent and withdrawn, his scars are covered with a mask.

The civilian perspective on war is central to the book. In place of battle scenes and military drama are the everyday, but no less deadly, risks posed by TB, Spanish flu and poverty. This is war and its aftermath as experienced in the home.



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